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Round Up: Thoughts on Game 2

Game 2 was a wild one and there's no doubt that it set the stage for incredible Games 3 & 4. Here's a look at some of the headlines and reactions from around the hockey world.

First, let's start with the picture above. Not many of us watching the game last night expected a fight between Evgeni Malkin and Henrik Zetterberg did they? Check out the video of that and some other highlights after the jump but you can clearly see the Malkin does indeed instigate. Hank reacted the way you'd like after Maxime Talbot speared Chris Osgood and he gets rewarded with Malkin swinging his stick at his head and then throwing punches. Neither fighter really did any damage to each other but if anything I think Malkin did the worst thing possible by igniting Zetterberg.

Also, despite Malkin getting an instigator within the last 5 minutes, he will not be suspended for Game 3. You don't say? The NHL avoids following its own rulebook yet again as Colin Campbell offered this little tidbit on it:

"None of the criteria in this rule applied in this situation. Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight. A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here and therefore the one game suspension is rescinded."

I'm not surpried at this really. If Scott Walker didn't get suspended, there's no way Malkin is going to get suspended let alone in the Stanley Cup Finals. The main point I'm getting at with this is not so much even at Malkin but at the NHL, why have a rule if you're not going to enforce it?

Second, who thought Justin Abdelkader would be leading all players in goals at this point in Finals? Abdelkader took a page out of the Mighty Ducks (the movie, not the NHL team) playbook a blasted a knuckling puck on Fleury. Fleury couldn't get a beat on it and it tipped off his glove and into the net for a 3-1 Wings lead. Abdelkader is really starting to come alive as a role player an unexpected scoring boost in the absence of Datsyuk and Draper. Hopefully he's able to keep it up if those guys are out for more games.

Third, Osgood was spectacular yet again and could have had a shut out had it not been for Brad Stuart's own goal. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to bash a player that was trying to make a play to save a goal, merely pointing out how the goal happened. Osgood looked great in net and was flying around the crease on cross-ice passes. I like how he was stepping up from the crease on long shots to take down the angle, something he's had trouble with before. Really the only time Osgood was truly beaten last night was on Guerin's shot that rang off the inside of the post. Abdelkader offered this nugget on Oz:

"He's proven himself in playoffs time and time again. It's one of the best all-time playoff goalies there is, and sometimes I don't think he gets enough credit."

Can't put it much better than that.

Not much to say about Valtteri Filppula's goal other than: Wow. Check after the jump for the video.

The final thing I want to get to before the jump is how the scheduling conflict worked out. Many expected the back-to-back games to hurt the men in red but if anything it has helped. Babcock was able to keep the team focused and ready to go for Game 2 which started less than 24 hours after the last one ended. The team did look sluggish at times but do you really blame them? In the end, what was supposed to be a Pittsburgh advantage turns into a huge Detroit plus as the Wings travel to Pittsburgh for Tuesday's Game 3. IF, and I said if, Babcock is able to get the guys refocused again and ready for Game 3, the Wings could take a dominating 3-0 series lead coming off of a great game like that.

That's all, check after the jump if you want the videos of the fight, Abdelkader's goal, and Filppula's beauty of a backhand.