Penguins score four in third to defeat Red Wings
Pittsburgh spoils NHL debut of Detroit goalie Jared Coreauby Wes Crosby / NHL.com Correspondent
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins would rather have the lead entering the third period, but even when they don't, things have tended to go their way.
The Penguins scored four third-period goals to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday.
It was Pittsburgh's fifth comeback win when trailing after two periods this season.
WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Penguins highlights
"We preach to this team all the time that we have to be a team that can generate offense different ways," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We can't just wait for a power play, or we can't just wait to get our chances off the rush."
Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, Penguins forward Nick Bonino and defenseman Justin Schultz scored to tie it 3-3. Bonino shot through traffic from the top of the right circle to make it 3-2 at 2:05 before Schultz scored 4:23 later.
Phil Kessel's second goal of the game gave Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead with 9:06 remaining.
Video: DET@PIT: Kessel nets his second of the game for lead
"We obviously liked [Kessel's] game tonight," Sullivan said. "He was on the puck. He's a threat, you know? He's got such a great shot whether it's off the rush, underneath the hashmarks or as part of the cycle game."
Matt Cullen was given credit for an empty-net goal as he was tripped heading to the net to make it 5-3 with 40.9 seconds to play.
The Penguins (15-7-3) won consecutive games for the first time since defeating the San Jose Sharks Nov. 5 and Edmonton Oilers Nov. 8.
The Red Wings (11-11-3) lost in regulation for the first time in six games.
"[The Penguins] definitely put the pressure on," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "And honestly, if you really look at it, there were times in the first period when it was the same way. I actually thought we had a decent amount of chances throughout the game. … But we have to do a better job of going north."
Henrik Zetterberg backhanded a shot off Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's left arm and into the net for his fifth goal of the season with 6:29 remaining in the first period.
Seven seconds after a Penguins power play expired, Frans Nielsen gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead when he charged to the left circle and shot over Fleury's glove 8:00 into the second period.
Three minutes later, Evgeni Malkin set up Kessel, who cut Detroit's lead to 2-1. Kessel one-timed a shot past goalie Jared Coreau, who made 32 saves in his NHL debut.
Video: DET@PIT: Malkin and Kessel connect for goal
Fleury made 28 saves for his second win in three days.
Dylan Larkin gave Detroit a 3-1 lead on a one-timer with 1:46 remaining in the second.
Video: DET@PIT: Larkin sweeps in a one-timer from the circle
Goal of the game
Kessel waited at the left post while Carl Hagelin wrapped a pass around Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser and through the crease. The puck found Kessel, and he was able to tap a shot inside the post for his second goal.
Save of the game
Penguins forward Scott Wilson sent a cross-ice pass through three Red Wings to Sidney Crosby in the right circle. Crosby dropped to one knee and took a wrist shot that seemed destined to sneak inside the right post, but Coreau slid to his left, smothered the shot and froze the puck 2:36 into the first period.
Video: DET@PIT: Coreau denies Crosby of early goal in debut
Highlight of the game
Schultz tied it early in the third period when he sent a slap shot under Wilson, who jumped to avoid it. The puck deflected off the left post and past the goal line for his second goal in three games.
Video: DET@PIT: Schultz nets powerful one-timer to tie game
Unsung moment of the game
Penguins forward Conor Sheary appeared to make it 5-3 at 14:41 of the third, but after the Red Wings challenged, it was ruled Patric Hornqvist interfered with Coreau before the puck crossed the goal line and the goal was disallowed.
They said it
"You just have to stick with it in games like this. We did, and we got rewarded." -- Penguins forward Phil Kessel
"I thought we controlled the play for the majority of that game. … Some shifts it was like a power play when it was 5-on-5. Then we'd give them an odd-man rush or we'd turn the puck over. Just being able to clean that stuff up will certainly bode well for us going forward." -- Penguins defenseman Ian Cole
"You know, [my nerves] weren't too bad. I was kind of surprised. I was doing my job in the first two [periods]. I was doing well. I stayed within my game. I didn't lose my net. … Even when they tied it, I had a fresh mind." -- Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau
Need to know
Detroit placed forward Justin Abdelkader (MCL sprain) on injured reserve and forward Andreas Athanasiou (knee) on long-term injured reserve Saturday. … Penguins forward Chris Kunitz returned from a lower-body injury. Pittsburgh activated him from injured reserve and re-assigned forward Tom Sestito to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday.
Red Wings: At the New York Islanders on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-D, NHL.TV)
Penguins: Host the Ottawa Senators on Monday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)