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Defining Moment: Jordan Staal's short-handed goal
PITTSBURGH -- With Detroit leading 2-1 in the second period and the Red Wings enjoying a second straight power-play opportunity, the tone of the game -- and perhaps this entire Stanley Cup finals -- changed when Jordan Staal took a Max Talbot pass and blazed past veteran Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski, cutting to the Detroit goal from right to left and neatly tucking the puck between Chris Osgood's pads.
The infusion of energy led to two more quick Penguins goals as they tied the finals at two games apiece with a convincing 4-2 victory.
"Well, it certainly changed the complexion of the game," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "They had the two power plays. There would have been a chance to go up 3-1. And Jordan, with speed up the ice, makes a strong move to the net like he can with his big body and scores a great goal for us, energizes not only our team but also the building. That kind of got us rolling from there in the second."
GM Ray Shero called it a lifesaver.
"They're about to break our back with a power-play goal to make it 3-1, and [Staal] makes a huge play and beats a couple of good defensemen and tucks her in and gave us life," he said.
If it was a lifesaver -- perhaps even a series-saver -- for the Penguins, the short-handed goal was a killer for the Red Wings.
"They gained a lot of momentum on that short-handed goal, and we never really responded," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said.
What did Staal recall of the play?
"You know Max made a great play," Staal said. "I saw Lidstrom and Rafalski both kind of flat-footed, and I just kind of buried my head, went for it, kind of snuck it in."