PITTSBURGH // The Penguins returned home to prepare for tonight's sixth game of the Stanley Cup final series against the Detroit Red Wings insisting they had already put Saturday's Motor City meltdown behind them. Certainly there is nothing from an embarrassing 5-0 Game Five drubbing on Saturday that the Penguins want to remember, as the Red Wings eased to within one win of defending the Stanley Cup.
However, one thing that the Penguins have not forgotten is the images of the Red Wings celebrating with the Stanley Cup after winning the best-of-seven series 4-2 at Mellon Arena a year ago. It is a scene that could well be repeated tonight with Detroit leading this year's series 3-2, though neither side has lost at home so far. "The situation is pretty clear for us," the Penguins centre Sidney Crosby said.
"We've got to go home and be desperate now. "It's nothing new. We've got to respond the right way. "The first two we played in Detroit were close games and could have gone either way. "Even the games at our rink. They were good hockey games. "This 5-0 loss was kind of out of left field but we've got a game to win at home now." The Penguins did more than lose a game in Detroit on Saturday, they also lost their composure and all momentum from successive 4-2 victories.
The Penguin's indiscipline resulted in three Detroit power play tallies in a four-goal second period that buried Pittsburgh and chased a rattled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the game. The Pittsburgh players rallied around Fleury on Sunday while the coach Dan Bylsma said he had no hesitation in handing the goaltender the start tonight. "A goalie's going to be upset in that situation," he said.
"That's the competitor in him. We need him to bounce back in the next game, and we need every-body at their best." The Red Wings understand better than most the value of home advantage having lost just once at Joe Louis Arena in four best-of-seven series this post-season. With the Penguins backed into a corner and remembering last season's defeat, the Red Wings know snuffing out Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup dream for a successive year will not come easy.
"You know what to expect going into Pittsburgh," Detroit's Dan Cleary said. "It's going to be a tough game. To close out a team it's not easy. "You're taking away somebody's dreams that they live for, and it's not an easy thing to do. "But it's all the will and how badly you want it." * Reuters