The Red Wings knew they would need to come out hard and fast to set an early tempo against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6. They didn't.
Pittsburgh dominated early and held on late to preserve a 2-1 win over the Wings, forcing a Game 7 on Friday night.
The Pens came out roaring in the first period as everyone knew they would, putting intense pressure on the Wings throughout opening frame. Along with applying intense pressure, the Pens were also the recipients of two power plays, as Henrik Zetterberg was called for a questionable goaltender interference call after Jordan Staal pushed him into Marc-Andre Fleury and Valtteri Filppula was sent off for an open ice tripping call that Bill Guerin embellished. However, the Wings were able to kill off both penalties and escape the first period unscathed.
But the tie wouldn't last, as Staal would break in on a 2-on-1, beating Chris Osgood over his glove to give the Pens a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the second period. The Wings would look to bounce back quickly, but the going remained tough as the Pens kept up the fierce pressure. Zetterberg looked to have the game evened up, but hit the post to the right of Fleury late in the period, keeping the game in the Pens favor after two.
The Wings would come out in the third with more intensity, and quickly established themselves with some quick pressure on Fleury. But Tyler Kennedy would gather a puck behind Osgood and flip it over his blocker to five the Pens a two goal lead as well as the momentum. However, the Wings wouldn't fold, and their persistence would pay off, as Kris Draper poked home a rebound to cut the lead to one. As the period moved on, the Wings would find themselves on the receiving end of two power plays, but, despite some solid attempts, couldn't get the tying goal past Fleury. After pulling Osgood, Detroit would come close, but couldn't get the tying goal in, and the Pens would hang on to force a Game 7.
Chris' Red Wing of the Game
Ozzie was the only reason this game wasn't an early blowout, making numerous saves to keep the Wings in the game. But in the end, the Wings offense showed up too late, and the Wings took the loss.
Now comes the most exciting game in sports: Game 7. The series heads back to Joe Louis Arena on Friday for the Cup clinching game. The puck drops at 8:00 PM and you can catch the action on NBC and CBC.