DETROIT — The Red Wings sure don't look tired now.
After watching their two-game lead in the Stanley Cup final disappear in Pittsburgh, the defending champion returned to the friendly confines of Joe Louis Arena and blew away the supposedly fresher Penguins 5-0 on Saturday night in Game 5.
The veteran-laden Red Wings lead the series 3-2 and moved within one win of their 12th Stanley Cup and fifth in 12 seasons. Detroit can wrap this one up Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.
Pavel Datsyuk made his mark in his first appearance in eight games. He had two assists, drew a key penalty and knocked down Evgeni Malkin, the top scorer in the playoffs with 35 points. The Red Wings also went 3-for-9 on the power play.
Chris Osgood made 22 saves for his 15th playoff shutout.
After five games in eight nights, the playoff-tested Red Wings can enjoy two days off before Game 6.
"Now age has nothing to do with it," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "There are two days off between games."
The Red Wings broke the game open with four goals in the second period against Marc-Andre Fleury, who left after making only 16 saves on 21 shots.
Valtteri Filppula started the barrage 1:44 into the second with the only even-strength goal of the period. Defensemen Niklas Kronwall and Brian Rafalski had power-play goals as did Henrik Zetterberg, last year's playoff MVP.
"The situation's pretty clear for us: We have to go home and be desperate now," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "… (We) have to respond right away."
Datsyuk, out since injuring his foot in Game 2 of the Western Conference final, wasted little time in making his presence felt. First he knocked Malkin hard off the puck behind the net, then made the final pass to set up Dan Cleary's goal in the first.
"I feel good today," Datsyuk told the Detroit Free-Press. "And when I play more, I feel better."
"He wasn't 100 percent Pavel Datsyuk, but I will take 85 percent of Pavel Datsyuk than 100 percent of other guys," Rafalski said.
|Red Wings lead series 3-2|
First Period—1, Detroit, Cleary 9 (Datsyuk, Rafalski), 13:32. Penalties—Kronwall, Det (tripping), 7:16; Kunitz, Pit (goaltender interference), 19:39.
Second Period—2, Detroit, Filppula 3 (Hossa, Osgood), 1:44. 3, Detroit, Kronwall 2 (Franzen, Zetterberg), 6:11 (pp). 4, Detroit, Rafalski 3 (Datsyuk, Lidstrom), 8:26 (pp). 5, Detroit, Zetterberg 11 (Hudler, Samuelsson), 15:40 (pp). Penalties—Gonchar, Pit (slashing), 5:53; Malkin, Pit (elbowing), 6:48; Kunitz, Pit (roughing), 13:50; Crosby, Pit (slashing), 17:37; Talbot, Pit (slashing), 17:57.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Hossa, Det (roughing), 1:53; Malkin, Pit (hooking), 7:14; Adams, Pit, misconduct, 15:50; Dupuis, Pit (high-sticking), 15:50; Cooke, Pit, misconduct, 18:08; Talbot, Pit, misconduct, 18:08; Malkin, Pit (cross-checking), 18:08; Lebda, Det, misconduct, 18:08. Shots on Goal—Pittsburgh 10-6-6—22. Detroit 8-15-6—29. Power-play opportunities—Pittsburgh 0 of 2; Detroit 3 of 9. Goalies—Pittsburgh, Fleury 14-8-0 (21 shots-16 saves), Garon (15:40 second, 8-8). Detroit, Osgood 15-6-0 (22-22). A—20,066 (20,066). T—2:28. Referees—Paul Devorski, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen—Derek Amell, Pierre Racicot.
COYOTES: Commissioner Gary Bettman says four prospective buyers have filed preliminary background applications to buy the insolvent team and keep it in Arizona. The interested parties include Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of baseball's White Sox and the NBA's Bulls, Bettman said in a declaration in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
SABRES: The team's old home is all but gone. A wrecking crew pulled down the last roof supports on Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium on Saturday morning. The last wall of "The Aud," which was built in the 1940s, is to be torn down within a few days.