DETROIT - Chris Osgood seemed destined to silence the critics who haven’t given him credit for winning two Stanley Cups as a No. 1 goalie because he plays for the powerhouse Detroit Red Wings.
But Friday night in Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals, the Detroit goalie gave up two goals to Pittsburgh’s Max Talbot in the second period and the Penguins held on for a 2-1 victory.
“I’m not going to stand here and make excuses,” Osgood said. “If I do that, people will run with that for the next five years.”
If the Red Wings had beaten Pittsburgh in Game 6 or 7 to repeat as champions, Osgood had a great shot to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs.
But Detroit didn’t and Osgood will shoulder some of the blame — fair or not — because such is life when you’re in net for the storied franchise.
“It’s difficult to win,” he said. “People take it for granted.”
Osgood finished with 16 saves, but stopped only one shot in the third period when the Penguins played conservatively.
Talbot’s goals against Osgood, both of which probably would’ve been stopped by the goalie on a good night, both came after defenseman Brad Stuart failed to do his job.
Stuart turned the puck over early in the second period, allowing Evgeni Malkin to set up Talbot for a shot that went low and between Osgood’s legs.
Stuart didn’t keep the puck in the Pittsburgh end midway through the second period and Talbot ended up with it, and snapped off a shot from the left circle that easily got past Osgood’s glove.
“Both were nice goals,” Osgood said. “I’m not going to rehash the goals. We lost 2-1.”
Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead on its 16th shot and had that cushion until rookie Jonathan Ericsson’s long blast with 6:07 in the third period pulled Detroit within a goal.
It was too little, too late for Osgood to get his glory.
“A lot of critics have been on him, and he played unbelievable,” teammate Henrik Zetterberg said. “In my mind, he was the best goalie in the playoffs.”
Osgood was 15-8 in the playoffs, giving up an average of two goals a game.
“In the playoffs in general he was excellent for us. Gave us a chance,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Along the way in the playoffs this year, much different than last year, we never were always firing on all cylinders. We always had people missing. And Ozzie was one of our strengths, to say the least, all playoff long.
“I think he deserves a lot of credit. His numbers speaks for himself, he’s done a great job.”
PHT: The Penguins' win in Game 4 shoved the Senators to the brink of elimination, but Ottawa has vowed to bring a better effort tonight (Coverage at 6:30 p.m. ET; Live Extra, NBCSN).
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