Crosby, Penguins strike back in Game 3
The Kid and the Hall found the back of the net, and the Pittsburgh Penguins found themselves back in the Stanley Cup final.
Sidney Crosby scored twice and Adam Hall had the winning goal as the Penguins prevailed 3-2 over the visiting Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 before a boisterous crowd of 17,132 at Mellon Arena on Wednesday night.
"We had to leave it all out there tonight," Crosby told CBC Sports. "It wasn't easy, but it was a good one for us."
Detroit still leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, winning 4-0 and 3-0 in the first two games.
"We didn't have the same kind of tempo we had coming off our bench the first couple of games," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said.
Game 4 goes Saturday at Pittsburgh (CBC, 8 p.m. ET).
"We still have a way to go," Crosby said. "It is just going to get tougher from here."
Pittsburgh had failed to score in the series until Crosby pounced on a turnover, played give-and-go with Marian Hossa and squirted the puck between Red Wings netminder Chris Osgood's pads 17:25 into the first period.
It was Pittsburgh's first goal in 153 minutes 22 seconds.
"Finally," Crosby said. "It wasn't that the chances weren't there, it's just that finally one went in for us.
"We had hit posts and didn't get the bounces. Finally one went in and it felt good."
After Crosby hit the crossbar with a rising shot in the opening minute of the second period, he put the Penguins ahead 2-0 with a power-play goal at the 2:34 mark.
Evgeni Malkin took a slapshot that stung Osgood, and though he shook it off in time to kick out Hossa's shot, he could not to prevent Crosby from whisking in the rebound at the left post.
"I thought Crosby and Hossa were better," Babcock said. "[They had] more energy and they controlled more plays.
"I thought they did a pretty good job. You have to give them credit, they found a way to win a game."
Hall banked in the decisive goal 7:48 into the third period, and Hossa finished with two assists to keep the Penguins unbeaten at home (9-0) in the playoffs.
"Nobody quit," Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury said. "Everybody was confident and it showed tonight."
"We have been playing well on home ice," Crosby said. "We have to keep it that way."
Johan Franzen tallied his 13th goal of the playoffs, a franchise record, and Mikael Samuelsson completed the scoring for the Red Wings.
"The puck bounced their way," Samuelsson said. "They got off to a lead and kept building on that."
"We played a pretty solid road game, but we made a couple of mistakes and it ended up in the back of our net," Red Wings forward Kris Draper said. "They're very dangerous [and] if we give them second and third opportunities, they're going to make us pay and and that is what they did tonight."
Crosby sparks Penguins
Detroit had the better scoring chances at the outset, taking nine shots to Pittsburgh's two in the opening 15 minutes.
But sparked by a relentless Crosby, the Penguins hit stride and outshot the Red Wings 13-1 over the next 13 minutes.
Osgood was solid, to say the least, stopping Ryan Malone's hard shot from the slot and foiling Hossa with back-to-back pad saves at the left post.
"We were playing well until they got the first goal," Red Wings defenceman Brian Rafalski said. "That gave them a lot of momentum and got the crowd into it."
After Crosby put Pittsburgh ahead 2-0 with his fifth and six goals of the playoffs, Sergei Gonchar had two glorious opportunities to score from the slot, but Osgood stood firm on both.
Franzen replied with a splendid power-play goal for Detroit, bursting by Hall and Rob Scuderi along the boards and chipping the puck over Fleury for his 13th with 5:12 left in the second period.
Hossa nearly restored Pittsburgh's two-goal lead as he rang a backhand shot off the left post on a wraparound early in the third period.
But the Penguins kept pressing and were rewarded when Hall's shot from behind the net caromed off Osgood's back and into the net for his second goal at 7:18.
It remained 3-1 until Samuelsson scored his fifth on a screen shot from the side boards with 6:23 remaining.
With files from the Canadian Press