Wings strike first
(1) Detroit v. (2) Pittsburgh
Red Wings lead series 1-0
But the Red Wings — relying heavily on their experience — shrugged off that early setback and also successfully killed off four first-period penalties, the two keys in recording a 4-0 win over the visiting Penguins at the Joe Louis Arena. The victory gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with Game 2 set to be played Monday here in Detroit.Penguins coach Michel Therrien's comments in the postgame presser essentially tell the story:
Two unassisted goals by Mikael Samuelsson made the difference offensively for a Detroit team that relied on its four-line attack.
"I don't know if it was the nerves. But definitely that was the worst performance of the playoffs. We didn't compete like we were supposed to compete."
And then, to end the session: "Obviously every time you go further in the playoffs you meet quality teams. And there's no doubt this is the best team we're facing right now. That's why we're here."
And here's Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot: "You start on the road. You want to win one game on the road. And Game 2 is right in front of us, and we have to figure out how to win that game."
They'd better hope so. Down 2-0 to start the series isn't a desirable position, to say the least. There's no question who deserved to win Game 1, given Pittsburgh was out shot 25-7 in the second and third periods, and that's going to have to change in a hurry for the Penguins to avoid a huge hole come Monday.
On a somewhat related note, I'll be on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA in Pittsburgh on Sunday morning at 11:30, discussing this series with host Rob Pratte and co-host Ted Arneault. Feel free to tune in.