PITTSBURGH (AP) -- This is what frustrates coaches in any sport -- one night
after the Chicago Blackhawks beat one of the NHL's best teams, they were shut
out again by one of its worst.
Sebastien Caron stopped 31 shots in his first shutout in nearly a year, and
Tomas Surovy scored the only goal in the Pittsburgh Penguins' 1-0 victory over
the low-scoring Blackhawks on Monday night.
The Penguins, who went into the game last in the NHL overall standings,
stretched Chicago's road winless streak to 12 games (0-11-0-1) a night after
the Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-0 at home. Chicago lost to
Columbus, now the NHL's last-place team, just before beating Detroit.
"We played three-quarters of the game in their end of the rink,"
Blackhawks coach Brian Sutter said. "I don't know how many scoring chances we
gave up, maybe four or five? We played our rear ends off. ... It's
disappointing to lose, you get mad when you lose these, but it is nothing like
you are getting outplayed by any stretch of the imagination."
Chicago, second to last in NHL scoring, was shut out 1-0 for the second time
by the Penguins, whose 126 goals allowed are easily the most in the league.
Pittsburgh swept the season series, also winning Oct. 30 in Chicago in rookie
Marc-Andre Fleury's only NHL shutout to date.
"You never know why a team can't score goals against you," Caron said.
"We had a big effort."
In a mostly action-less game befitting the teams' records, Caron came up
with the big saves when he needed them in his first shutout since Jan. 21
Caron, who brought a 3.73 goals-against average into the game, made an
excellent glove save on Nathan Dempsey's shot from the right circle with six
minutes left in the first period. Caron started the second period by turning
aside Steve Sullivan on a breakaway, then ended the period by stretching his
glove across the goal line while sprawled on the ice to stop Mikhail Yakubov's
close-range shot off Kyle Calder's rebound.
"The second period they took it to us pretty good, they took advantage of a
couple of slow line changes that we had and they created a lot," Penguins
coach Eddie Olczyk said. "At the beginning of the third period, the message
was pretty clear that we didn't want to sit back."
Caron said a tip by defenseman Marc Bergevin helped him stop Sullivan's
"I stayed right there and hoped he would do it (switch to his forehand) and
if he didn't, I knew I would (have no chance)," Caron said.
One night after shutting out a Red Wings line of Steve Yzerman, Brendan
Shanahan and Brett Hull that has 1,951 goals, the Blackhawks were beaten by a
line that has a combined 104 goals -- 91 by Brian Holzinger.
Holzinger dug the puck out along the right wing boards, shoveled it between
a Blackhawks player's legs, then fed it to Tom Kostopoulos (four career goals)
along the goal line. He steered it to Surovy, who skated through the right
circle and around Chicago defenseman Steve Poapst to beat goalie Steve Passmore
for his fifth goal of the season and ninth of his career.
"It was a good play out of the corner by TK," Surovy said. "He was able
to find me, and I just drove to the net and hit the net."
Passmore started after Blackhawks goalie Michael Leighton beat the Red Wings
for his second shutout in three games. Passmore, who hasn't won since beating
Nashville on March 23, is 0-3 this season despite allowing only five goals. He
made 20 saves.
"The effort was definitely there," Dempsey said. "At times we tried to
force it a little bit, but if we have this effort, we'll be in every game."