osgoodwins400th

Chris Osgood becomes 10th goalie of all time to earn 400 wins

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Of course, it had to come against the Detroit Red Wings’ hated rival, the Colorado Avalanche.

Sure, it would have been better if Chris Osgood could have earned a milestone that only nine other goalies managed to cross in Detroit, the place where he earned 316 of his 400 career wins. But perhaps it’s more fitting that he did it with a scrappy effort on the road, as he was the genuine top star of the game instead of being simply the sentimental choice. His best work came in the second period, where he stopped all 23 Colorado Avalanche shots, but he made 46 saves overall.

It was one of those games that the most virulent anti-Osgood people will try to ignore, as a goalie who many feel benefited greatly by playing behind the fantastic team in front of him instead saved the day over and over again.

Detroit 4, Colorado 3 (OT)

That 400th victory certainly didn’t come easily, as he lost in overtime to the Dallas Stars while he was on the cusp of breaking the milestone and needed an overtime game winning goal by Niklas Kronwall to get it tonight.

Detroit’s explosive power play was the other story of this game, as their man advantage produced every Red Wings goal (four goals in six opportunities). Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler provided Detroit’s goals while Matt Duchene scored twice and T.J. Galiardi found the net for the Avalanche.

Who knows if Osgood is a true Hall of Fame goalie, but it’s hard to argue against the fact that he squeezed everything he could out of his talent. He managed 12 seasons with 20 wins or more and his overall record (400-216-66-29 thanks to the statistical oddness of transitioning from ties to shootouts, with 50 shutouts) indicates that he has a case for the Hall. He also experienced the team success many HOF voters value, as he was the main guy for two Cup wins and also was on the roster for another championship with the Red Wings.

With Grant Fuhr (403) and Glenn Hall (407) in his sights, Osgood is already in select company. Whether that’s enough to get him enshrined with the game’s all-time greats is to be determined, but he’s certainly enjoyed a special career. Tonight was a glorious example of all he brings (and brought) to the goaltending position. Congratulations, Ozzie.

(Screen shot of Red Wings players congratulating Osgood via FSN Detroit and NHL Game Center.)

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

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Hot take: the Pittsburgh Penguins probably won’t deal with a goalie controversy going into Game 7.

(Ugh, that’s a failed hot take … you can’t use “probably” in those things, right?)

Matt Murray was fantastic at times during Game 6, much like his counterpart in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s net in a 5-2 win. Granted, there were some tense moments during the Bolts’ late-game push:

Much has been made about experience, especially from those calling for Marc-Andre Fleury earlier in this series. It’s telling that the praise Murray draws sure sounds like what you’d expect from a “veteran.”

“He has a calming influence,” Sullivan said. “He doesn’t get rattled. If he lets a goal in, he just continues to compete. That’s usually an attribute that usually takes years to acquire that, and to have it at such a young age is impressive.”

Thanks in part to Murray’s efforts in Game 6, he’ll get a chance to prove his resolve in something new: a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final.

Once again, his teammates seem pretty confident in this elimination situation.

Lightning lament Game 6 effort, Cooper doesn’t blame disallowed goal

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The Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to sleepwalk through the first two periods of Game 6, and waking up in the final frame wasn’t enough to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On the bright side, at least the Lightning aren’t in denial about that weak first 40 minutes.

It seemed like everyone on the team more or less admitted as much in unison.

Brian Boyle added that he felt like the Lightning tiptoed around this game. Jon Cooper often provides great quips, yet he was pretty matter-of-fact in this case.

Many will linger on this disallowed goal for Jonathan Drouin, which would have provided a 1-0 lead for Tampa Bay in the first period.

Let’s face it; that moment came pretty early in the game. To Tampa Bay’s credit, they’re not pinning the loss on that setback.

Now they must set their sights on competing throughout Game 7 … and maybe earning some bounces of their own in the process.

Read more about Game 6 here.

Penguins force Game 7 after holding off Lightning rally

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The Pittsburgh Penguins played with fire late in Game 6, but they also showed plenty of fire in beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2.

With that, this thrilling Eastern Conference Final will go the distance with Game 7 on Thursday.

There are at least a few “What if?” scenarios to consider, especially for the Lightning.

What if that offside goal counted?

Jonathan Drouin played some fantastic hockey on Tuesday, yet his most memorable moment came via something that ultimately “didn’t happen.” An offside call on a goal review kept a 1-0 lead from happening for Tampa Bay:

Instead, the Penguins poured it on during the first period and eventually went up 1-0. They then carried that momentum over through the second period, adding two more goals to go up 3-0 heading into the final frame.

What if Tampa Bay played more like they did in the third period?

The difference between the level of play in the first 40 minutes and the final frame were night-and-day.

Now, you can make a chicken-and-the-egg argument here. Did the Penguins take their feet off the gas with that lead? Maybe Jon Cooper finally unleashed the hounds when the Lightning were facing a big deficit?

Maybe it’s a combination of those factors; either way, the Bolts couldn’t come all the way back even after making it interesting. At one point the game was 3-2 before a Bryan Rust breakaway goal and an empty-netter put things out of reach.

Both Matt Murray and Andrei Vasilevskiy faced plenty of tough chances and came through more often than not. We’ll see if there are any goal controversy rumblings, but each netminder came through at times tonight.

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Now the series shifts back to Pittsburgh for Game 7 with a Stanley Cup Final on the line. Excited and/or nervous yet?

More: Great goals by Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

Sidney Crosby scores a superstar goal

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With the Pittsburgh Penguins’ season on the line in Game 6, plenty of eyes are on big guns Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.

Those marquee names are really coming through so far as they’ve now built a 3-0 lead through two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You likely already saw Kessel’s display of high-end hand-eye coordination (if not, check it here). Kris Letang scored his first goal of the series to make it 2-0 on a very tricky, well-placed shot.

The highlight really might be Crosby’s tally, though. He left multiple Lightning players baffled and beat a very-much-game Andrei Vasilevskiy to beef that lead up 3-0.