Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: Playoff recap, Day 42

The Pittsburgh Penguins avoided going down by three games by winning game three at Mellon Arena on Tuesday night. Thursday night will either tie things up, or put Detroit up 3-1...

Here's the recap:

(Penguins 4, Red Wings 2)

Sergei Gonchar scored the game-winner on a pretty questionable interference penalty against Detroit's Jonathan Ericsson, blasting a shot from the point that found it's way past Chris Osgood.

That broke open a tie game after a four-goal first period that saw Max Talbot score within the first five minutes, Henrik Zetterberg tie it about 1:30 minutes later, Johan Franzen put Detroit ahead and Kris Letang tie it less than five minutes after that.

Exciting stuff!

Detroit carried the pace in a scoreless second period, outshooting the Pens 14-4, but Pittsburgh had a 10-3 edge in the final twenty minutes and a lot more opportunities on goal.

The Wings were unlucky to go ahead in the second period, but luck is something they've had their fair share of so far in this series.

Evgeni Malkin had three assists for the Pens in their big game three win...good thing the NHL decided not to uphold the automatic one-game suspension he should have been given for his last-minute instigator penalty in game two.

Good thing the league is on his side!

I've been on the officials a lot in these playoffs, but PLEASE...just call a consistent game.

The game-winning power play came on a Jonathan Ericsson interference call; Pittsburgh dumped the puck into the zone, Ericsson used a bit of light stick-work to hold up his man, and the arm went up.

In his post-game press conference, Detroit coach Mike Babcock was asked about that call.

He said both teams were warned that the refs would be clamping down on interference when the puck is dumped into the zone - but he says he saw one Pittsburgh player do the same thing about four times before Ericsson wound up in the box.

So you've got games being decided by weak calls like that...yet, Darren Helm gets elbowed by Brooks Orpik at centre ice in the third period, no call.

A bit later, Helm delivers a clean hit on Tyler Kennedy along the boards and is then RUN OVER by Matt Cooke who comes from across the ice with his elbow out...no call.

A headshot, with an elbow, where the player doesn't have the puck...and it's CBC's hit of the night. What a joke.

If Kronwall got five and a game for the hit on Marty Havlat, that is at LEAST a two minute minor.

Tomas Holmstrom stands in front of the net taking cross-check after cross-check, hack after hack all game long. No call there, EVER. Why? Who knows. I don't think Nick Lidstrom or Brad Stuart could get away with what Hal Gill gets away with on a nightly basis.

Good game by the Penguins, good game by the Wings, severely mediocre at best by the guys with the whistles.

It's a 2-1 series now with game four going on Thursday night.

Word out of Detroit is that Pavel Datsyuk could be ready for the next game after missing six with a foot injury.

Let Kerrzy read it to you here:

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