| Photos: Pens 2, Wings 1 (SO)
|The Penguins put together one of their best games this season against the Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh dominated from the opening faceoff and completely overwhelmed Detroit throughout the game. |
The Penguins beat Detroit to loose pucks, established their forecheck and cycling game and were on point with their passes. The Penguins were a step ahead of the Red Wings all day, even if the scoreboard didn’t reflect that effort.
If not for a strong game from Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, the outcome would have been a lopsided victory in Pittsburgh’s favor. The Penguins looked like the fresher, younger team during the 65-minute affair.
|WHAT HAPPENED |
|PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby scored in regulation and the shootout and the Penguins overcame Jimmy Howard's second successive 46-save game to beat the Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday in the rivals' first game since Pittsburgh won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals in Detroit. |
|SHOT OF THE NIGHT |
Evgeni Malkin seals the Penguins' 2-1 victory with a beautiful shootout goal on Jimmy Howard
(photo by Getty)
|What Went Well: Shot Brigade |
When the Penguins are playing in the offensive zone, establishing their forecheck and getting to their game, they will generate a lot of scoring chances and shots. Pittsburgh registered 47 shots (second highest total this season) in the contest and over 20 quality scoring chances.
What Could Have Gone Better: Solving Howard
The great equalizer in any game is the goaltender. Despite the Penguins’ utter dominance in possession time, scoring chances and shots, netminder Jimmy Howard was brilliant in goal to keep the game close. Pittsburgh finally broke him with its 27th shot of the game, and buried two shootout goals to get the W.
|Sidney Crosby was a force on the ice for Pittsburgh. The Penguins captain scored the team’s only goal in the contest and clinched the victory with the game-deciding shootout goal. He also finished with a game-high (tied) six shots. |
On his goal (his 34th of the season), Crosby corralled and controlled a hard pass while streaking down the near side. He waited for netminder Jimmy Howard to commit to a shot. Then Crosby turned the puck over to his backhand, swung around Howard and directed the puck into the goal.
On his shootout tally, Crosby juked Howard to the ice. With the Wings netminder facedown, Crosby lifted a backhander into the back of the net.
|SCORING SYNOPSIS |
|The Penguins finally broke through for a goal on their 27th shot of the game with 3:14 minutes remaining in the second period. Pittsburgh fumbled the puck on an attempted entry into the Detroit zone. The confusion allowed Sidney Crosby to sneak uncontested down the near side. Alex Goligoski threw a hard pass from the far point through three Red Wings’ sticks and onto Crosby’s tape. Crosby juked goalie Jimmy Howard, turned the puck over to his backhand and slid the puck over the goal line. Pittsburgh 1, Detroit 0. |
The Red Wings tied the game 11 minutes into the third period. Brad Stuart sent a monstrous slap shot from the far point towards the net. Dan Cleary re-directed the puck into the top corner of net. Pittsburgh 1, Detroit 1.
The Penguins clinched the victory during the shootout session. Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored for Pittsburgh while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped both shots he faced. Crosby went with a backhander that he roofed for the score. Malkin juked slowly on goal, forced Howard to the ice and then used his long reach to push the puck aound the outstretched goaltender and over the goal line. Pittsburgh 2, Detroit 1.
|INTRIGUING NOTABLES |
|The Penguins health improved slightly with the return of forward Tyler Kennedy and defenseman Alex Goligoski. However, there was a setback as Max Talbot, who has battled various injuries throughout the season, did not play. |
The Penguins mixed up their forward combinations to:
There were a few notable missed chances in the game. Detroit’s Valtteri Filppula missed a wide-open net while working a Red Wings’ power play. Jordan Staal nearly gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead late in the third period when his bad angled backhander from the goal line hit the crossbar. Tyler Kennedy also hit a post during the overtime session.
|GAME NOTES |
|> Pittsburgh improved to 34-21-1 on the season with a 16-10-1 mark at Mellon Arena. |
> Scoring Summary:
PIT, S.Crosby (34), 16:46 2nd period: Penguins 1, Red Wings 0
DET, D.Cleary (11), 11:10 3rd period: Penguins 1, Red Wings 1
> The Penguins are now 52-24-5 in the regular season since head coach Dan Bylsma took over. They have a record of 26-11-2 at Mellon Arena.
> Pittsburgh has successfully killed their last 20 penalties against, and 26 of its last 29.
> The Penguins registered 47 shots, the second-highest total this season (48, 1/3/10 at Florida). Only Craig Adams and Jay Mckee did not record a shot for Pittsburgh in the game.
> Either Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby have figured in on the last 17 goals for Pittsburgh.
> Sidney Crosby scored his team-leading 34th goal of the season. In his last 12 games, Crosby has 10 goals and 19 points. Crosby has now scored six times in seven tries in shootouts this season (85.7 percent).
> Evgeni Malkin extended his season-long scoring streak to seven games with an assist against Detroit. He now has 12 points (6G-6A) over that span. Malkin added his first shootout goal of the season.
> Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 27th win of the season. He is now 5-0 in shootouts and has stopped 14 of 15 shots against.
> Jordan Staal played in his 276th consecutive game, tying for second place on the Penguins’ all-time list (Nick Harbaruk).
|THREE STARS ||QUOTE OF THE NIGHT |
| || |
|1. S.Crosby |
|"I was confident with the guys we have here we could pull this one out. … It was a good |
time and we came out with a win.”
- Marc-Andre Fleury