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Hossa helps Wings blank Pens

by Brian Compton
Marian Hossa painfully reminded the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon of what they lost when the talented winger signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings last summer.
Hossa scored his 30th goal of the season in the third period and fired five shots on goal, while Ty Conklin -- another ex-Penguin -- stopped all 25 shots he faced to lead Detroit to a 3-0 victory in a rematch of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final at Mellon Arena.
Hossa, who turned down a deal with the Pens in the neighborhood of $40 million, was booed loudly whenever he stepped on the ice during the first two periods. Some in the sellout crowd of 17,132 even chanted, ''Traitor, traitor.'' Hossa entered the game with such expectations from the crowd and did not allow it to hinder his performance.
''These are great hockey fans, and they show you their emotions,'' Hossa said. ''Once or twice in your career you've got these games, so basically you try to enjoy it because this doesn't happen often. You try to use their energy to your advantage.''
Hossa certainly did in the third period, when he gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead at the 11:09 mark. He made a brilliant move on former teammate Jordan Staal and then got off a backhand shot from the slot that found its way past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.
"I tried to put everything on the backhand I had and I tried to shoot it pretty quick,'' Hossa said. ''I was just hoping it would get there. It kind of surprised me (it went in).''
Conklin, who went 18-8-5 in the Steel City last season, was somewhat surprised by how hard the fans were on Hossa, who had 12 goals and 14 assists during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
''I guess we expected them to boo him a little bit but, man, that was vicious at times,'' Conklin said after recording his sixth shutout of the season.
Pavel Datsyuk had the other two goals for Detroit. He broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period on a power-play tally. After Petr Sykora was whistled for hooking, Datsyuk took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and beat Fleury for his 21st goal of the season. He gave Detroit another insurance tally with 2:12 remaining in regulation.
Conklin and Detroit's defense did the rest. The Wings held Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby to just one shot on goal in more than 23 minutes of ice time. Evgeni Malkin registered four shots.
''There were no second chances,'' Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. ''They cleared the net really well. They have some world-class players and they know how to play the game really well.''
With the loss, the Pens (0-for-4 on the power play) remained two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have dropped four of their last six games.
''There are going to be days when they don't go in and you still got to find a way to win,'' Crosby said.
On Sunday, though, the Wings gave them nothing despite entering the game with the League's worst penalty kill on the road (73.4 percent). Detroit will visit Nashville on Tuesday night.
''We kept them on the outside,'' Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. ''They've got a lot of speed up front. When we have the puck in their end, we tried to hang onto it and make them play defense.''
Material from wire services was used in this report.

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