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game recap

Penguins roll past Red Wings

Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino each has career-high five points, Pittsburgh wins for seventh time in eight games

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

Bonino flicks in PPG

PIT@DET: Bonino scores off the rush on power play

3/26/16: Nick Bonino takes a pass form Phil Kessel on the rush and beats Jimmy Howard shortside for a power-play goal, stretching the lead

  • 00:52 •

DETROIT -- Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino each had a career-high five points to help the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 7-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.

The Penguins (41-25-8), third in the Metropolitan Division, maintained their one-point lead over the fourth-place New York Islanders and are four points behind the second-place New York Rangers. The Islanders and Rangers each won their game Saturday; Pittsburgh plays the Rangers in New York on Sunday. The Penguins and Islanders have a game in hand on the Rangers.

The Red Wings (37-27-11), fourth in the Atlantic Division, fell three points behind the third-place Boston Bruins, who won 3-1 at the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are even in points with the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but the Flyers have a game in hand.

"We knew this was a key game, and we played like it," said Pittsburgh forward Carl Hagelin, who scored two goals. "The Red Wings have been getting closer in the race, so it was big to get two points and keep them to none."

Kessel and Bonino each had a goal and four assists.

Video: PIT@DET: Kessel beats Mrazek from tough angle

Bonino was a game-time decision due to an upper-body injury and had 16 points in 54 games coming into the game.

"He had a terrific game for us," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "When we're in the situation we're in right now with some of the injuries that we have, we need guys to step up at key times and he certainly did."

Chris Kunitz scored, and Kris Letang and Eric Fehr each had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, which has won seven of its past eight (7-1-0). Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves.

Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green had goals for Detroit. Petr Mrazek made 23 saves before being replaced by Jimmy Howard late in the second period. Howard made 11 saves.

"In the second they really, really took it over from the beginning. They scored some quick ones," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

Athanasiou gave Detroit a 1-0 lead 8:24 into the game when he scored on a breakaway, beating Fleury with a wrist shot low on the blocker side. Athanasiou's seventh goal of the season was set up by Brad Richards' backhand pass from the neutral zone after defenseman Jonathan Ericsson broke up a pass at the Red Wings' blue line.

Video: PIT@DET: Kunitz ties it with bank off Mrazek's back

The Penguins responded with four goals in the second period to take a 4-1 lead.

Kunitz tied the game 1-1 20 seconds into the period. Letang's shot from the point bounced off the end boards, off Kunitz's stick, and off Mrazek into the net. It was his 17th goal.

"Obviously, not the result we wanted," said Mrazek, who was pulled for the second time in three games. "We started well, first period, up 1-0. Then start of the second you let that goal, had a bad bounce, went off my leg, then my (butt) and went in, quick turnaround and you see the result in the end."

Letang's power-play goal at 4:08 gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. He beat Mrazek five-hole with a shot from the right circle for his 15th.

Video: PIT@DET: Hagelin's tally gives Penguins two-goal lead

Hagelin made it 3-1 with 8:58 left in the period. His shot from the right circle hit Pavel Datsyuk's shoulder and went into the net. It was Hagelin's 10th goal. Kessel made it 4-1 with 4:49 left in the period, scoring his 22nd from the right circle off the rush.

"I think we had a pretty good first period, we had a lot of chances and made some good plays," Bonino said. "We stuck with it and were resilient. And when get one or two you get your confidence and start rolling."

Green made it 4-2 with a power-play goal 5:08 into the third period. His fluttering shot from the high slot bounced past Fleury for his fifth goal. Datsyuk got his 600th career NHL assist on the goal, joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman and Alex Delvecchio as the only Red Wings with at least 300 goals, 600 assists and 900 points.

Video: PIT@DET: Green nets power-play goal on floating shot

But Fehr made it 5-2 when he scored off a goalmouth scramble 1:36 later. Hagelin got his second goal at 8:37 before Bonino scored a power-play goal with 5:15 left.

Pittsburgh was playing its first game since losing defenseman Olli Maatta with a lower-body injury. He is week-to-week.

Kunitz left the game late in the second period after a hit from Datsyuk and didn't return. Sullivan said he had an upper-body injury and will be a game-time decision against the Rangers on Sunday. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin sustained an upper-body injury and will not play.

Video: Four-goal 2nd period leads Penguins to win

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