It may have been the 20 minutes that ruins the Pens’ chances to win the Stanley Cup.
The Red Wings deposited four goals past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, chasing him to the corridor, and presumably to the locker room. Although if Fleury made a “Pitt” stop at the Alumni Room at the Joe for a couple of drinks, you could hardly blame him.
This wasn’t Fleury’s night, and the second period wasn’t the Penguins’.
As Pittsburgh did to the Red Wings in Game Four, Detroit stunned the Penguins in the second period tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
Four goals. A 5-0 lead. A goalie change, if only to rescue Fleury’s confidence for Game Six.
The Red Wings have returned to the series, which I had said was 2-2, Pittsburgh.
I don’t know who those impostors were in Pittsburgh wearing the winged wheel, but the real ones have been freed and they’re playing the Penguins this evening as if they need to remind them, and the hockey world, who are the defending Cup champs.
They say you have to knock the champion out. No TKOs, no split decisions.
The Penguins, though, showed up tonight with pom-pons on their hands instead of boxing gloves.
The only thing they knocked down tonight was their chance of stealing the Cup from the Red Wings.
After a rousing start in the first period by Pittsburgh, the Red Wings have settled down and went on one of those rolls that sends the women and kids out of the room.
This is an NC-17 game bordering on being labeled “X”.
The Penguins, on top of everything else, are taking foolish penalties borne from frustration, and only a 3-on-5 penalty kill has kept this from the aforementioned “X” rating.
But there’s 20 minutes left to “set the tone”, as they say, for Game Six.
No doubt it will be chippy and nasty and maybe the Red Wings can insert Aaron Downey and Darren McCarty for Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg for the third period.
I know, it doesn’t work that way.
By the way, calling Evgeni Malkin, calling Evgeni Malkin! Report to Game Five immediately.
Naah, forget it. It’s too late now.