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Old 05-28-2009, 06:05 PM   #24
HometownGal
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Default Re: Pens VS Red wings part deux

QUOTABLE "It's a unique situation right now, definitely this doesn't happen often. I try to make the best of the situation for myself and try to help the team win a Cup." -- Marian Hossa

"To go what we went through last year was tough. But we've got a chance here, and we want to make the most of it." -- Sidney Crosby

Detroit's power play really clicked in its 6-1 win on Sunday at Chicago, when it went 3-for-8. Lidstrom has been dynamite, as 10 of his 13 points have come while the Wings had the man advantage. But it's unknown when No. 5 will return to the lineup.

The penalty kill allowed goals in each of the first four games against the Blackhawks before killing all three situations on Wednesday and has struggled throughout the playoffs. Darren Helm was highly effective, filling a huge void left by Pavel Datsyuk, who is annually one of the best defensive forwards in the game.

Again, much of Detroit's success -- or lack thereof -- could depend on the health of Lidstrom and Datsyuk.

Any team with Crosby, Gonchar and Malkin is going to have a dangerous power play. Pittsburgh scored only three extra-man goals against a Carolina team that is very proficient on the penalty kill, but each of the goals was a timely one. Overall, the Penguins are clicking at a respectable 19.3 percent. But the penalty kill sits at just 83.6 percent, which could be a problem against their high-powered opponent. But Pittsburgh held Carolina to just one goal on 12 power-play opportunities in the Eastern Finals.

Henrik Zetterberg (DET) -- He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008 as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Wings will need him again this time around if they want to repeat. Zetterberg is solid at both ends of the ice, but he's got to create offense against the high-powered Pens.

Red Wings will win if... They stick to their system. Detroit is a puck-possession team, and if it can find a way to hang on to the puck -- especially at even-strength -- it will limit Crosby and Malkin's opportunities. The stronger the Wings play 5-on-5, the better off they'll be.

Penguins will win if... They can handle the big stage this time. Several Penguins have admitted to being awed last spring against the Red Wings. By the time the Penguins got comfortable with the high-stakes hockey played in the Final, they were trailing 2-0 in the best-of-7 series -- a hole that proved too big to dig out of. This time around, they believe they are more ready, an assertion that can be supported by the fact that Pittsburgh has won five-straight playoff games and nine of its past 10.
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