The Pittsburgh Penguins did what they had to do Tuesday night, getting an absolute must-win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals over the defending champion Detroit Red Wings. Now, they’ve got to do it again. Oddsmakers at BetUS.com list the Penguins as -140 moneyline favorites over the Red Wings with a 5 1/2-total. Detroit backers are getting +120 moneyline juice as a road underdog.
Riding the wave of emotion generated by a white-out crowd at The Igloo, the Penguins withstood two first-period Detroit goals and got the game-winner with under 10 minutes to go in beating the Red Wings 4-2 Tuesday night to avoid going down 0-3 in this Stanley Cup series.
Thanks to their victory, the Pens get a chance to pull the series to even when the teams meet for Game 4 Thursday (8 pm Eastern).
The game was tied 2-2 after one period Tuesday, and stayed that way for the next 30 minutes despite Detroit piling up a 26-11 shots-on-goal advantage. But the Pens put up 10 shots on goal in the third period, compared to just three for the Wings, and Sergei Gonchar’s tie-breaking power-play goal midway through the third period held up. Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot, who opened the night’s scoring just five minutes into the game, later iced the victory with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Talbot’s second goal also put the game over its total of 5.5 on the Oddsmaker.com NHL betting line.
Pittsburgh lost the first two games of this series in Detroit by identical scores of 3-1, and came home knowing that if they were to have any chance at all of winning this series they’d have to win Games 3 and 4 at The Igloo. They then won Game 3 despite – according to the opinion of some “experts” – their poorest performance of the series.
The Pens also lost the first two games of last year’s Stanley Cup final in Detroit before winning Game 3 at Mellon Arena. But the Pens lost Game 4 last year at home, and although they managed to take Game 5 in Detroit in triple overtime, they lost the series at home in Game 6.
No NHL team has ever come back from 0-2 series deficits twice in the same playoffs, which does not bode well for Pittsburgh; the Pens came back from 0-2 down to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semis last month to win in seven games.
The Pens and Wings split their two games during the regular season, with each team wining on the other’s home ice.
Pittsburgh is now 7-2 at home during these playoffs, while the Wings are just 4-4 on the road.
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