Last night's marquee NHL match-up between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins was rife with potential drama with this game being the first time the two teams had seen each other since the conclusion of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals last season.
Marian Hossa, who left the Penguins during the summer to sign with the Cup Champs, Detroit (despite pleas from Sidney Crosby to re-up with the Pens) was to be in the spotlight with his new team. Hossa played a good game and had two assists with the Wings leading the Pens 5-2 with about 15 minutes remaining in the 3rd period.
The spotlight then shifted to young, Jordan Staal.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin brought new life back to the effort when he slipped a wrister past goalie Chris Osgood and pulled the Pens within 2.
Just over a minute later, Jordan Staal scored and the game was feeling brand new at 5-4. But Detroit's Jiri Hudler scored two minutes later and it seemed Detroit would stake a claim on this game and quash any comeback efforts.
With just over 4 minutes remaining, Staal scored again and then with less than 30 seconds remaining, and the extra attacker on the ice, Staal netted the third Pittsburgh goal in a row for the hat trick and to force overtime.
During OT, while Detroit began transitioning from the defensive zone and into neutral ice, Jordan Staal began back checking and, looking like Mike Modano, simply took the puck away from Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, turned it around and fed the puck to Ruslan Fedotenko who put it past Osgood for the game winner. Simply incredible. Jordan Staal took ownership of the 3rd period with 4 consecutive points while delivering 3 goals and a primary assist on the OT game winning goal.
The Penguins won 7-6 in OT. 13 Goals scored in the game billed as the rematch of last season's Stanley Cup Finals. Huge drama centered around famous names and a very memorable comeback made for an exciting hockey game last night...and a good night for the NHL and the fans, too. Although Hossa was the big name thrown about yesterday, it's Staal's name they take away in the headlines today. Just remember it's the Jordan version of the 4...because you will see it more and more.
Tonight's Game2Watch would have to be the late game in the league, when the Avs step onto the Canucks' home ice and the goalie-captain Luongo seeks his 4th straight shutout. OGA knows The Colonel is pulling for Luongo if only for the fantasy points...
The Frozen Pill also looks forward to healthy rivalry between the 'Canes and Caps tonight. More later...