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Cup final – Game 5 post-game/off-day

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A few off-day thoughts after Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, won by the Red Wings, 5-0, over the Penguins at Joe Luis Arena on Saturday:

STAR GAZING

My top three players from Game 5:

1-D Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings. He looked a lot like the best defenseman of his generation with an assist, expert puck-management and rock-solid defensive positioning.

2-C Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings. If defense counts, and it does, he is the finest forward in his sport. (Something scary: Imagine if he were healthy!)

3-C Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings. He has limited Penguins C Sidney Crosby to only two points in six Cup Final games at Detroit over the past two postseasons.

STAT THAT SHOULD INTEREST YOU

The Penguins are 9-3 over the past two seasons after losing a Stanley Cup playoff game, including 3-2 against the Red Wings.

LUCKY FEDS

Penguins LW Ruslan Fedotenko played on the last team to lose Game 5 of a Cup Final tied, 2-2, and win the title. His Tampa Bay Lightning lost at home to Calgary in Game 5 in 2004, but rallied to win the next two games. Fedotenko scored the Lightning’s only two goals in that Game 7 victory.

FLOWER POWER

While you read the hockey world count out the Penguins in this Final, especially after G Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled Saturday after allowing five goals on 21 shots in 36 minutes, keep this stat in mind: In 12 games following a loss over the past two postseasons Fleury has recorded a 2.17 GAA and .927 SV%.

SID AND GENO

Crosby scored two goals and recorded six points in the 2008 Cup Final, compared to Malkin’s goal and three points in six games. In this Final, Malkin has scored two goals and recorded seven points compared to Crosby’s goal and three points in five games.

Translation: The “Mega Powers” have yet to unite for a Cup Final.

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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