Osgood helps Wings' Game 1 win seem almost routine
Overall, the Pittsburgh Penguins played a strong road game.
The answer is in the details. The Penguins failed to capitalize on successive second-period power plays. The Pens looked tentative at best with the man advantage, sluggish at worst. They failed to maintain their first-period low-cycle proficiency, losing momentum due to the failed power plays. Then a lost face-off led to a turnover and yielded a late goal to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lad after 40 minutes.
The Red Wings scored first to open the game, with a crazy carom off the end boards on a shot by defenseman
Just like that, the Red Wings muted the Penguins' noisy start. Plus, the Pens didn't do any of the things they had to do to be successful: score first and force the Wings to chase the game, score on the power play or get a sound game in goal by Fleury. No matter what they did well, it was undone by what they failed to do. When they did get a look,
Sure enough, the second half of this game was all Detroit.
In the end, the Penguins were the first team to outshoot the Red Wings, yet Osgood's effectiveness made his 31-save performance look routine. Not that many of the saves weren't difficult, it's just that Osgood made them look easy. His counterpart, on the other hand, made everything look difficult. Fleury had trouble getting his bearings and played exactly the opposite of Osgood, whereby even the easiest of bids became an adventure.
Now, with the quick turnaround, as Game 2 is Sunday night, the Penguins must come up with an approach that is sustainable. The Red Wings certainly have one, and they followed it in this game. To top it off, Osgood is backing it all up with his superb goaltending -- a level of excellence that is just a few wins from Conn Smythe status.