We can thank Chris Osgood for this one. His teammates weren’t terrible, not by a long shot, but Osgood’s sustained excellence held off a Pittsburgh team that had the stronger night of the two squads. Â I think it’s safe to say Osgood stole it. He had a very strong game, with the save on the Malkin breakaway standing out among a series of very good saves. He looked a little silly on the Pittsburgh goal, giving up the rebound like that, but throughout the second and third, he was a rock.
A brief word on officiaing: I’m all for letting the two teams play, but not at the expense of calling obvious stuff. I can think of multiple painfully obvious calls the officials blew and too many of them involved Pens targeting Hossa. I knew they’d try to get in his head by tying him up and throwing him off his game, but I didn’t think the refs would turn a blind eye to it. Not cool.
With Crosby’s little stickwork on Maltby after the game, you have to wonder if the Wings aren’t back in Pittsburgh’s collective heads. They played well enough and forced enough bounces to do it, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the Pens respond tomorrow.
The Wings need to get at them with a stronger overall effort in Game 2. They didn’t get their offensive game established all that well, even accounting for the difficulties presented by the second period’s penalties. And defensively, they can be better. The penalty kill was encouraging, but at even strength there were far too many Pittsburgh pressure shifts brought on by in-zone turnovers.
Getting the first win is huge. Now let’s get the next one, guys.
More tomorrow morning.