The 5:24 mark of second frame illustrates Pens' woes

Updated: May 27, 2008, 8:34 AM ET

Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Jordan Staal and the Penguins have a combined 41 shots on goal in two games vs. Detroit.

GAME 2'S DEFINING MOMENT

DETROIT -- How good are the Red Wings? What illustrates the monumental task the Penguins have of trying to make this a series once they return to Pittsburgh for games Wednesday and Saturday?

Just look back to the 5:24 mark of the second period of Monday's Game 2. A harmless shot from the right side marked the first even-strength shot of the game for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

They recorded none in the first period and did not register a shot at all until the 12-minute mark, when they were already down 2-0.

"It was big for us to get the first goal and the second goal, reduce their breathing space, for sure," said Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom, who was credited with the second goal; he tapped it over the goal line after it had sneaked between Marc-Andre Fleury's pads.

The Penguins, who had such an easy time through the first three playoff rounds, building leads and playing terrific team defense in rolling to a 12-2 record, have been unable to mount any kind of attack when they are playing at even strength against Detroit.

The Red Wings defense has seen little in the way of pressure and has been able to make passes out of the zone with ease.

Although the score does not suggest a lopsided contest, the Red Wings' ability to clog up the neutral zone and deny the Penguins odd-man rushes suggests this game was much more one-sided than the final 3-0 score.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.


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GAME 2 BREAKDOWN

GAME 2 -- THREE STARS

Stuart

Brad Stuart
Part of the Red Wings' success so far has been their ability to get scoring from players not named Datsyuk or Zetterberg. In Game 2, it was Stuart, who got Detroit on the board in the first period.

Chris Osgood
Osgood didn't face a lot of rubber, but he posted his second straight shutout and his third of the postseason.

Pavel Datsyuk
We add the Wings forward to our list, not because of his scoring prowess, but for his toughness in Game 2. He took on Gary Roberts during a late-game scrum deep in the Wings' zone.

GAME 2 -- SUIT CHALLENGE

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E.J. HRADEK'S TAKE

Penguins veteran Gary Roberts has enjoyed a great career, but his (amazingly) unpenalized head shot on Wings forward Johan Franzen in the third period was a gutless act. If the league wants to send a message about such plays, they should suspend Roberts. On this one, Roberts earned it. When a vet like Roberts loses his composure, it doesn't send a good message to his younger teammates. As the game wore on, the Pens seemed to melt down.

• Read more from E.J. Hradek's blog Free