Alright, I admit it: I was wrong. I never thought Mark Andre Fleury could be a solid, play-off caliber goalie. At least not this season: he's still too young and inexperienced, in my humblest of opinions. Last night, however, he stood on his head and kept the Penguins' playoff hopes alive, while Malkin continued to cough up the puck in the neutral zone.
I'm not going to drone on about how the 3-OT game was a thriller, and how it was the highest rated Game 5 since 2002 (there's a solid statistic that doesn't really mean anything). I'll give it you straight here in the pages of the Vavenby Daily News. There's no way Pittsburgh deserved to win that game. Sure, they took an early 2 goal lead, but against a team like the Wings, that's not going to be enough. You need to play with intensity and heart for the full 60 (or 109:57) minutes.
Pittsburgh was out-shot in every one of the 6 periods played, except for OT #2, in which they managed 1 more shot than Detroit. Compare this to OT #1, in which the Wings outshot the Pens 13-2. Overall shot total was 58-32 in favor of the boys from the Motor City.
All this being said, I feel that Pittsburgh can win the next game and force a game 7. They're so good at home, and coming of the high of this win, I expect big things. The key factors are for MAF to continue to play well, and for Malkin to pull his head out of his ass and start playing like the superstar he's supposed to be.
Final score: Pittsburgh 4, Detroit 3
3 Stars: #1 - MAF (55 saves);
#2 - Petr Sykora (GWG @ 09:57 of 3rd OT; 2PIM)
#3 - Hank Zetterberg (2 assists; 2PIM)