Hockey Stuff: Burning Questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOWN…BUT ARE THEY OUT? | Pens look to gain ground at home

The matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins was supposed to a Stanley Cup for the ages. Experience against youth. A great defense against an explosive offense. The best team of the last decade against a team that could become the New York Islanders (winners of four straight Cups at the start of the 1980s).

But so far, it’s been a shocker: the President’s Cup-winning Wings haven’t allowed a goal and lead the series 2-0 going into tonight’s Game 3 in Pittsburgh.

The Pens were outscored 7-0 in the two games in Detroit, but now are back at home in Mellon Arena – where they’re 8-0 in the playoffs, outscoring opponents 33-13. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh’s netminder, has won his last 18 starts there, and the Pens have won 16 straight at home.

In NHL history, the home team has won the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals 31 times. All but one of those, they went on to win the championship.

So the burning questions are…

Will Pittsburgh find its legs tonight at home?

Will they score a goal?

Will Detroit get a third straight shutout, effectively ending the series?

Bottom line: the Pens could win tonight’s game and Game 4 on Saturday to make it a series, but obviously they lost confidence in Detroit. They’re just not able to move the puck against the Red Wings. Can they get back in it at home tonight?

For a good look at what needs to happen tonight, see former NHL coach Jaques Demers’ column in today’s USA Today here.

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