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game recap

Penguins fail to clinch playoff berth in loss to Red Wings

Must wait to secure spot; Bertuzzi has three more points for Detroit

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

Bertuzzi nets second goal

PIT@DET: Bertuzzi goes top shelf for second goal

Darren Helm slips a sweet pass to Tyler Bertuzzi, who flips it over a sprawling Matt Murray for his second goal of the game

  • 00:59 •

DETROIT -- The Pittsburgh Penguins missed an opportunity to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-1 loss against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday.

Phil Kessel scored and Matt Murray made 22 saves for Pittsburgh (43-26-11), which would have secured a spot in the postseason with a win.

"We can't be frustrated, it's a useless emotion at this point," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We've just got to make sure we get ready for the next one. That's the mindset that we have to have. We still have to solidify a playoff spot."

 

[WATCH: All Penguins vs. Red Wings highlights]

 

Tyler Bertuzzi had two goals and an assist and became the first player in Red Wings history to have three or more points in four straight games.

"I think I'm a little shocked right now; it is hard to comprehend this," Bertuzzi said. "I just have to thank my teammates, and especially my linemates. We've having fun playing hockey right now."

Detroit coach Jeff Blashill was stunned that the 24-year-old forward had done something unprecedented for a team with a 93-year history.

"You think of the players for this franchise and the winning that's been done here and the number of goals that have been scored in different eras … I couldn't believe it," Blashill said.

Jimmy Howard made 38 saves for the Red Wings, (32-38-10) who have won six in a row, their longest streak since a six-game stretch from Oct. 17-27, 2016.

Detroit's top line of Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha have combined for 17 goals and 38 points in the six-game winning streak, including all four against Pittsburgh.

Video: PIT@DET: Mantha scores after long pass from Larkin

"We're clicking and we're winning," said Larkin, who had three assists. "This is huge toward building confidence toward next year. We're doing this against good teams and we're doing it at home and on the road.

"We don't want to be in this position next year, getting ready to go home on April 6."

Bertuzzi gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 10:20 of the first period. Murray nearly made a spectacular save, reaching back to glove Bertuzzi's shot, but video review determined the puck crossed the goal line.

Video: PIT@DET: Bertuzzi cashes in on one-timer for PPG

"I thought I had it, but I guess they had a better angle on one of the replays," Murray said. "Once they started looking at it, there was nothing else I could do."

Kessel tied it 1-1 at 19:38 on a 2-on-1 with Sidney Crosby for his 25th goal of the season.

Bertuzzi gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead at 10:26 of the second period.

Mantha beat Marcus Pettersson to Larkin's long pass and scored his 23rd goal to make it 3-1 at 11:24 of the third.

"I'm pretty sure I could have come out and played the puck away from him," Murray said. "I just didn't read it in time."

Mantha took a pass from Bertuzzi and scored an empty-net goal with 1:54 remaining for the 4-1 final. It was his fifth goal in two games.

"When Anthony is skating like he has been in the last few games, and you combined it with the growth we've seen from [Bertuzzi] and the skill we see from [Larkin], that's a really talented line," Blashill said. "They played against Crosby's line tonight and I think they were the better line."

 

They said it

"You only have so many chances to clinch, so we have to get this tightened up. We've got these guys again next, and we know what they can do. We've got to be ready for that and go out and get a win." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

"We've got a lot of young guys in our lineup right now, especially with our injuries, and we're playing teams who are trying to get themselves into the playoffs or getting a better seed. That's why this is so important; these kids now have the experience of knowing they can win games in that situation." -- Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill

 

Need to know

The Penguins were without center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang because of upper-body injuries. … Pittsburgh center Matt Cullen played in his 1,514th regular-season game, tying Steve Yzerman for 19th on the NHL all-time list. … Bertuzzi has 21 goals, giving the Red Wings four 20-goal scorers since 2014-15 (Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader).

 

What's next

Penguins: Host the Red Wings on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Penguins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Video: Bertuzzi, Mantha net two each in 4-1 Red Wings win

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