Game 1 of 2008's Stanley Cup final saw Detroit out-shoot Pittsburgh 36-19 and overwhelm the Penguins with a style they'd never seen executed so well in route to a 4-0 victory.
Last night's game 1 was another re-introduction on what the Penguins need to adjust to. Detroit played their expected brand of puck possession hockey, thanks mainly to winning 39 of 55 faceoffs (71%). Make no mistake; Pittsburgh is going to have to do a better job in the circles and battle for the puck. Shooting wise the Penguins actually out-shot the Red Wings 32-30, so, unlike last year's Game 1, at least the Pens were able to get a bunch of rubber to Chris Osgood.
But on this night, they just couldn't get it by him. Take Evgeni Malkin's clear breakaway while the score was tied 1-1. Osgood got a piece of his glove on it. Or Sidney Crosby throwing a puck off the post that somehow lands on the sprawled out Osgood's back. Henrik Zetterberg either directly covered that puck or shoved it under Osgood with his own hands. No penalty was called on the play.
For the Red Wings part, they never straight up put a puck past Marc-Andre Fleury. The first goal scored off a super strong deflection on the end boards that ricocheted in off the back of Fleury's leg. Sure you can credit Brad Stuart's hard shot and the angle he used, but this is hockey, not pinball. Using the boards to your advantage is a part of hockey but having them so springy pucks can basically score themselves is boarding on ridiculous.
Both teams had stretches were they controlled the puck and cycled in the opponent's zone. The Pens need to stay on that grind, keep working for opportunities and straight burying some of them.
As said, the goal is to take one of the first two road games, if the Pens are strong on Sunday and capture Game 2 they're in a good position and Detroit's home ice is gone. So that's gotta be the goal now, just get that first goal.