May 20, 2009
It's always hard to overlook the overtime winner and in this case it's even tougher, given the fact that Samuelsson triggered the deciding rush by stealing the puck from Brian Campbell(notes) at the opposite end before getting all of a Valtteri Filppula(notes) feed to send everyone home. It was an active night for the Swede that included highs (a team-high six shots) and lows (failure to clear the puck prior to Chicago's first goal).
You can't accuse Toews of not being a factor in this one. He opened the scoring when his centering pass deflected off a Detroit skate and into the goal for a 1-0 lead, and later tied the game at 2-2 with a redirect of his own off a Kris Versteeg(notes) slapper. He created numerous other scoring chances, drew a penalty in the second period with the team trailing 2-1 at the time and more than held his own in the faceoff circle (9 of 14 draws won).
Osgood was denied a curtain call at the arena, possibly because the extra intermission erased memories of his work in the opening 30 minutes. Chicago carried the action in the first period, forcing Ozzie to make 18 saves, many of the highlight-reel variety. You can argue he stopped everything he saw en route to a 37-save win. Chicago's first goal deflected off a Detroit player in close and the second was also the result of a tight deflection.
Major Penalty: There's a certain degree of risk priced in when you employ Brian Campbell, but there's a time and a place for everything, and Campbell picked the worst possible time to attempt a low-percentage backhand pass at the blueline. He was already engaged with Samuelsson and two other Red Wings were converging on the play, making his overtime gamble that led to the winning goal a true do-or-die effort.
Minor Penalty: In a similar vain, Brent Seabrook(notes) had the right idea, just executed his attempt to get the puck deep poorly on the play that led to Dan Cleary's second-period goal. Chicago was fresh off an offensive-zone faceoff win when Seabrook's dump-in attempt was blocked by Cleary, who took off for his second end-to-end goal of the series. It was a rough night for Seabrook in more ways than one.
Conn Smythe Watch: (The Top 10) 1. Johan Franzen(notes), Red Wings; 2. Sidney Crosby(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins; 3. Henrik Zetterberg(notes), Red Wings; 4. Cam Ward(notes), Carolina Hurricanes; 5. Chris Osgood, Red Wings; 6. Marc-Andre Fleury(notes), Penguins; 7. Eric Staal(notes), Hurricanes; 8. Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks; 9. Evgeni Malkin(notes), Penguins; 10. Daniel Cleary(notes), Red Wings.