Malkin, Crosby tip final in Penguins' favour

Sidney Crosby gets away from Kris Draper during game 4 of the Stanley Cup final in Pittsburgh, on...

Sidney Crosby gets away from Kris Draper during game 4 of the Stanley Cup final in Pittsburgh, on June 4th, 2009. (Dave Abel/SUN MEDIA)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

DETROIT -- Has the march of the Penguins begun?

After back-to-back victories at home over the Red Wings to tie the Stanley Cup final at 2-2, the Penguins had their feet firmly planted as they landed in the Motor City last night in preparation for Game 5 tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

While the Penguins have seized the momentum in the series after a 4-2 victory -- thanks to a great game from stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin -- over the Wings on Thursday at Mellon Arena, they aren't taking anything for granted with the final now down to a best-of-three.

STILL NEED TWO WINS

"We're no closer to the end than they are," said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma before boarding the club's afternoon charter to Detroit. "We have two more wins to get and we have a tall task going into a tough building against a very good team that's playing well.

"Hopefully, we keep that level-headed approach, whether it's a loss or whether it's win. We can play better. We can bring a different level to our game. As a team we're always focused on what we need to do and what we're doing well, and how we can do things better."

The Penguins still face long odds. Only one team down 0-2 on the road in the Cup final -- the 1971 Canadiens -- has ever come back to erase the deficit and win the series. That's why Pittsburgh players who have been through this before were choosing their words carefully.

The Penguins came back from 0-2 against the Capitals in the second round. But the Wings are a lot deeper team than the Caps, with better goaltending and more all-around talent.

Momentum?

"People could say we have the momentum. There's probably players in that dressing room who are completely unfazed by what happened," said Pittsburgh winger Bill Guerin. "So, does it really make a difference? In my mind, you hear a lot about momentum, but every game is so different. Every game is individual.

"Momentum from one game to the next is not that big a deal to me. I don't put that much importance on it. The big thing is we have played more of our game."

Detroit coach Mike Babcock scoffed at the notion the Penguins have the momentum with the series tied 2-2.

HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE

"Everyone talks about momentum, but I'm a big believer that momentum is, as good as the next day start kind of thing. Just get out there and get playing again and go from there," said Babcock.

The Wings have home-ice advantage. The Penguins are going to have to win one in Detroit if they're going to win the title and Pittsburgh scored only two goals in the first two games in the Motor City.

"We're happy with the way we played these couple games at home and want to build off it. It's not going to get any easier going to Detroit. I don't think you allow yourself to think too much. You take it a game at a time. I have a memory that's pretty short," said Crosby, the captain.

"We know what we have to do. Go in there and play a solid game. We want to come back (to Pittsburgh), obviously, up. But we came back and did what we wanted to do. Instead of it getting easier, we have to go in there and get one. We're happy we're able to hold home ice here and do a good job here."

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


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