The fans raised their hands. The Toronto Maple Leafs bench raised their hands. Dion Phaneuf, who fired the shot, raised his hands.
It had to be a goal, right?
Wrong. The Monster said “no” on Saturday night, as Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson made this amazing save with his stick on Phaneuf’s shot.
Wow. Lunging, desperate and diving. Quite an effort on that save.
Gustavsson made 19 saves and then two more in the shootout, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 victory over the Maple Leafs.
The Monster, of course, used to tend goal for the Leafs before moving on to Detroit. So there was a little more on the line for him here, as he told MLive.com before the game:
“You always want to be successful for an organization for a long time,” Gustavsson said. “I enjoyed living in Toronto, had a lot of good teammates. But I think both (sides) felt it was time to move on. For me it was time to find another challenge. For them it was probably good to move on, too.”
Can’t wait to see this one on the HBO cameras…
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No. 1 Star: Antoine Vermette, Phoenix Coyotes
The former Ottawa Senators forward returned to torment them, tallying a hat trick that included an overtime game-winner. The Coyotes won, 4-3.
No. 2 Star: Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Getzlaf scored three goals and assisted on another in the Ducks’ 5-3 win over the New York Islanders. Getzlaf had three points during Anaheim’s four goal third period rally. He now has 19 goals on the season.
No. 3 Star: Andy Greene, New Jersey Devils
The Devils defenseman had an awesome night, assisting on two goals and then getting the game-winner in overtime to complete a comeback to beat the Washington Capitals, 5-4. Here’s the OT tally:
Honorable mention: Sidney Crosby scored a goal and had two assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Calgary Flames, 4-3 . … Anze Kopitar scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2 . … Reilly Smith had two goals as the Boston Bruins topped the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1 . Tuukka Rask made 34 saves. … The annual “24/7” game went to a shootout, where Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored to give the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. … R.J. Umberger and Ryan Johansen had two goals apiece as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-3. … Chris Stewart had a hat trick and an assist in the St. Louis Blues’ 6-0 thumping of the Edmonton Oilers. Brian Elliott had the 23-save shutout. … Alex Ovechkin scored goal No. 30. … Alex Stalock made 46 saves and five more in the shootout, as the San Jose Sharks topped the Dallas Stars, 3-2 . Joe Thornton had the game winner. … Finally, Radko Gudas had this game-winner for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes:
Finally finally , Saturday night had its share of OT heroes, but none of them were the solo act that David Desharnais was for the Habs: Stealing the puck from Mattias Ekholm and blasting it past Carter Hutton for the 4-3 victory.
Did You Know? Jaromir Jagr tied Mark Messier for seventh place on the NHL's all-time goal list with the 694th of his career.
Dishonorable mention: Michael Grabner was a minus-4 for the Islanders. … Eric Boulton earned 22 minutes in penalties, including a game misconduct. … The Sens and Coyotes had 13 minor penalties in the second period. … Every Edmonton Oiler outside of Sam Gagner and David Perron was a minus vs. the Blues.
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Episode 2 of “HBO 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road To The NHL Winter Classic” was a massive leap in improvement from the tepid opening edition.
One reason? A special guest star.
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins played both the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs during the week leading up to Episode 2, and it was his game against the Leafs that gave us the highlight of the week – and gave Sid one of his, uh, most candid moments on camera.
Also in this clip, referee Mike Leggo has an amazingly classic moment, breaking up a scrum by screaming, “YOU KNOW WHAT, [EXPLETIVE] BOTH OF YOU!”
(In other words, the language in this clip is very strong and NSFW)
For the audio impaired, the glorious exchange between Sid and Dion:
SID: “A guy runnin’ an elbow up through my head, that’s OK too, right?”
DION: “Who did?”
SID: “Kadri. [Explitive] dummy. Then he acts like he got shot.”
DION: “You [expletive] hit me from behind, Sid!”
SID: “I did not. C’mon, I don’t even hit anybody. I haven’t hit anybody [expletive] this year.”
DION: “You wouldn’t like it if I pushed you like that.”
SID: “Probably not, but you’d do it all night anyway.”
DION: “I got a job to do too.”
SID: “Yeah well Kadri is a [expletive] joke. You tell’em.”
And with that, Sidney Crosby became the Loki of “HBO 24/7.” It doesn’t have to be his movie for him to steal every scene that he’s in, as our favorite nefarious troublemaker.
s/t Chris Peters for the video.
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