Red Wings take 3-2 lead over Penguins in Stanley Cup

The Red Wings took a 3-2 lead in their best of seven Stanley Cup Finals series over the Penguins last night with a convincing 5-0 win and here’s what some local columnist are saying after Detroit’s victory.

– Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wants to know if the Red Wings were supposed to be tired and won 5-0, how would Detroit look rested?

– Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Wings proved last night that the young Pens still have a lot to learn.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that for a moment, the Penguins actually looked like a good squad. (That must have been a quick moment.)

– Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pavel Datsyuk’s return received high praise in Detroit’s locker room.

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Penguins beat Wings, tie series at two games apiece

– Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press writes that it’s no longer last year anymore as the Penguins’ stars are starting to shine and take over this series.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette boastfully claims that Detroit can’t win without Pavel Datsyuk, who has yet to play in the Cup Finals.

– The Detroit Free Press writes that the Wings played out of character in their Game 4 loss.

– Gene Collier of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette waxes poetically about Jordan Staal, who he says saved the day in Game 4.

– writes about the Penguins’ second period burst.

Pens cut into Wings’ Stanley Cup Finals lead

With their 4-2 victory over the Red Wings on Tuesday night, the Penguins have cut into Detroit’s lead in the Stanley Cup Finals and now have the chance to tie the series at two games apiece when the series continues on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Here is what local columnist and beat writers are saying about the Pens’ victory:

– Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press writes that even though they lost, the Wings look like more of a lock than when the series started.

– Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that the Penguins have new life after soundly beating Detroit in Game 3.

– Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press writes that if the Wings can’t kill penalties, then they won’t be able to put the Penguins away.

Michael Farber of writes that the Penguins’ wounded warrior Sergei Gonchar, who hurt his knee when Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals knocked into him in Game 4 of Pittsburgh’s series with Washington, delivered when his team needed him the most.

Scott Burnside of writes that Game 3’s defining moment was when Matt Cooke drew a penalty that lead to the Pens’ winning goal.

Pens heading to Cup, Wings next?

The Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Finals after beating the Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night and sweeping the best of seven Eastern Conference Finals series. The Pens will now await the winner of the Blackhawks-Red Wings series, which Detroit currently leads 3-1.

After battling the Capitals for seven games in the semifinals, some pundits believed that the Penguins might be worn down for their series against the Canes. But Pittsburgh put those doubts to rest when it took the first two games on its home ice and then crushed the Canes 6-2 in Carolina in Game 3. Game 4 Tuesday night turned out to just be a formality as Carolina struggled offensively.

Now the Pens will wait to see if the Red Wings can finish off the Blackhawks tonight at Joe Lewis Arena. If Chicago plays as bad tonight as it did in Game 4 on Sunday, then the Stanley Cup Finals could kickoff this weekend.

Making matters worse for the Blackhawks, the Wings could get both Nicklas Lindstrom and Pavel Datsyuk back from injury tonight. Detroit coach Mike Babock won’t make a decision on their playing status until each get the opportunity to skate in pregame, but chances are both players will be on the ice tonight.

If the Wings do finish off the Hawks, they would set up a rematch of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, in which they beat the Penguins in six games. Some hockey fans wanted to see a new matchup, but it’s hard to beat the drama that comes from watching Sidney Crosby try to take on the juggernaut that continues to be the Detroit Red Wings.

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