PITTSBURGH – A report card on Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final on Thursday between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins:
Red Wings, D: They threw a lot of pucks at Marc-Andre Fleury, but few that were dangerous, and gave it away too often. Henrik Zetterberg had his first sub-par game playing extra minutes with Pavel Datsyuk out, while Marian Hossa is still looking for a goal against his former team.
Penguins, A. All week, coach Dan Bylsma asked them to go to the net for dirty goals. Instead, they whipped it around for beauties on the rush. Sidney Crosby’s energetic work finally translated into a goal, Jordan Staal scored a back-breaker, while Evgeni Malkin and his sidekick Max (No Hands) Talbot were dangerous again.
Red Wings, C: Brian Rafalski got beat with the feet and the body by Jordan Staal on a key short-handed goal, but there wasn’t a lot of movement from any of the blueliners as the Penguins wore them down with speed.
Penguins, B: Rob Scuderi’s give-away on Darren Helm’s goal aside, Pittsburgh’s defence kept most of the trouble to the outside, played tough in front of the net, and moved the puck quickly to the forwards
Red Wings, B: Chris Osgood didn’t have much chance on any of the goals, and made a fine save on a Malkin breakaway at the end of the second period with the score 4-2 that at least let the Wings think about a comeback.
Penguins, A: A second straight strong game for Marc-Andre Fleury, who had to be alert as the Wings shot often from odd angles. He was totally screened on Brad Stuart’s long-shot goal.
The Canadian Press top three:
1. Jordan Staal. His short-handed goal, beating Brian Rafalski and beating Osgood on a rush to tie it 2-2, turned the game around.
2. Sidney Crosby. Finally got a goal and set up another.
3. Evgeni Malkin. Two more points and a ton of shots for the best forward in the series thus far.