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Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins (-140, 5.5): Matchup and trends
The Hank and Pav show
Pavel Datsyuk returned in a big way on Saturday, registering two assists and a +2 rating in 17:38 of ice time. Datsyuk, along with linemates Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary, were the catalysts in Detroit’s 5-0 shutout of the Penguins.
“(I am) feeling good and more confident,” said Pavel Datsyuk on Sunday.
Mike Babcock is unsure whether he’ll pair up Datsyuk and Zetterberg for Game 6.
The Os-good, the Os-bad, and the Os-ugly
Chris Osgood played well in the first two games of this series, but has struggled on the road during the postseason. The Detroit goalie is 11-1 with a 1.40 goals against average at home and 4-5 with a 2.91 GAA on the road. Osgood has looked nothing like the netminder who had a 3.09 GAA and .887 save percentage during the regular season.
Don’t believe the hype
Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik commented after Game 4 that the Red Wings “looked a little fatigued” and that Henrik Zetterberg “looks so tired out there.”
The Wings, unfazed and looking fresh, dominated Game 5, reroute to the 5-0 win.
Detroit looked tired on the road because they were struggling to match up against Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin without the benefit of last change. The line juggling should be an issue at the Igloo again on Tuesday.
Off the deep end
The return of Pavel Datsyuk after seven games improves the depth of an already impressive Detroit team. Whether he plays as a center or on the wing, the contributions of this Hart Trophy nominee can’t be overlooked.
The Red Wings can roll out three solid scoring lines putting a bigger strain on Pittsburgh’s defensemen. The Pens blueliners must continue to hit hard and block shots.
Brooks Orpik leads the playoffs in hits and five of the top seven shot blockers in this postseason belong to Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh must find a way to score using its special teams. Detroit has struggled on the penalty kill for the entire playoffs (72.1 percent). Pittsburgh has taken advantage, scoring four power play goals in 11 opportunities (36.4 percent).
Pittsburgh forward Jordan Staal has demonstrated the ability to score short-handed. The youngster scored seven short-handed markers as a rookie in 2006-2007 and scored the game-tying goal while down a man in Game 4.
- The home team has won all five games in this series.
- Detroit is 0-6 in its last six games as a road underdog.
- Pittsburgh is 4-0 in its last four playoff games as a favorite of -110 to -150.
- The Penguins are 8-1 in their last nine games when their opponents score five goals or more in their previous game.