Games like this have a way of being disappointing. You're hyped up for facing a repeat playoff nemesis and then you find out Joey MacDonald, their backup to the backup goalie is playing. Then you start wondering if it's going to be one of those games where the goalie who shouldn't have a good game instead has a stellar one and you're left wondering why you wasted your time.
This wasn't one of those games.
The first chance of the game came early when seemingly 10 Red Wings crowded Marc-Andre Fleury's net, but the puck just barely stayed out. Perhaps feeding off this luck, Jordan Staal buried a puck into a completely wide-open net at 3:02 of the first period, getting an assist from Mr. President himself, Tyler Kennedy. Faithful commenter wg1of5 noted that this marked Staal's 87th goal to go along with 87 assists in his career.
There was a lot of back and forth with MacDonald getting peppered with shots until Kris Draper made the mistake of his life and held Chris Conner on a breakaway. The referee pointed to center ice, and Conner scooted the puck under MacDonald's leg pad to make the score 2-0. Throughout all of this, Fleury and MacDonald both had to make some incredible saves to keep their teams in the game.
The Penguins opened the penalty box for the first time early in the second period when Matt Cooke (who else?) tripped Brian Rafalski, but the Pens killed that penalty followed by another hooking call on Chris Kunitz, who had a very nice chance when he came out of the box. Continuing the string of penalties, almost immediately after the Kunitz penalty kill ended, Ruslan Salei tripped Michael Rupp. During that power play, which netted nothing, Kris Letang tripped Drew Miller on a breakaway but somehow the referees did not award Miller a penalty shot. This was a clear case of Gary Bettman's bias against the Red Wings.
Johan Franzen finally broke the shutout at 17:28 on a nice one-time garbage goal with assists from Patrick Eaves and Henrik Zetterberg. The Penguins got it right back less than a minute later, though, when Kunitz shot through some traffic created by Evgeni Malkin. Pascal Dupuis and Malkin got the assists. The period ended 3-1.
The third period wasn't much to write home about. Like the rest of the game, there was a lot of back and forth, a lot of nice saves on both ends, but nothing went in until Cooke took a pass from Kennedy and center-punched the empty net to finish the game off, 4-1. Brooks Orpik got the secondary assist.
While this game was far from a blood feud a la the Flyers or, on occasion, the Capitals, this was far from a disappointment.
Also, SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!