The Penguins got a home game last night and now everything has changed! After taking care of Detroit in a must-win Game 3, the Stanley Cup Finals have become, say it with me ... a series.
As opposed to those non-series series you're always reading about. Personally, I think it was Pittsburgh's innovative "six men on the ice" strategy that turned the tide. The Penguins many not have scored a goal during the 30 seconds or so that their extra attacker skated penalty-free, but it's that kind of outside-the-box thinking that turns also-rans into champions.
And you know what turns champions into also-rans? Horrific penalty killing, which is exactly what the Red Wings have. They're killing at atrocious rate of 71% in the playoffs (the Thrashers were worst in the NHL this regular season and they were at 74%), but everything will be fine provided they don't commit any penalties ever again.
So now we have Game 4 on Thursday—opposite the NBA Finals; kudos once again to the schedulers—where Pittsburgh will either complete their comeback or sink back into oblivion, meaning it really was one of those fake series and not the actual kind we wanted.
Talbot scores twice, Malkin bags three assists, Gonchar gets winner [Post-Gazette]
Game 3 Highlights [NHL.tv]
Crosby puts intangibles on full display [NHL.com]
No love lost for ex-Pen Marian Hossa in Steel City [Free Press]