The Red Wings entered CONSOL Energy Center as a wounded team with eight players out of the lineup, including three of the team’s top four goaltenders.
But the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins felt little sympathy for their Stanley Cup Final nemesis, Pittsburgh scored timely goals and rode the strong goaltending of Marc-Andre Fleury to secure a 4-1 victory.
The Penguins dominated the play early in the first period and held a decisive advantage in offensive zone time. The result helped Pittsburgh jump out to a 2-0 lead – scoring once due to a Detroit miscue and scoring the other on a penalty shot.
The Red Wings were able to level the attack time over the final two periods, but had little success breaking through on Fleury. When Detroit finally broke through in the final three minutes of the second period to make it a 2-1 game, the Penguins responded with a clutch goal 30 seconds later for a 3-1 lead.
Pittsburgh locked down in the third period, protecting the crease and concentrating on its defensive play. As a result, the Penguins were able to finish strong and close out the Red Wings for the win.
The Detroit Red Wings were a constant presence in the Penguins zone for the last two periods. But for all the pressure they put on, they managed to score only one goal on their 37 shots.
The reason for that was No. 29 – Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins netminder turned aside 36 shots to record his 21st victory of the season. Fleury made all 12 saves in the third period as the Red Wings were pumping up the pressure for a goal.
Fleury, who is 20-5-2 in his last 27 starts, was particularly strong while the Penguins were shorthanded. He made big saves on Todd Bertuzzi, Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar.
The Red Wings scored a late, potentially backbreaking goal with just 2:32 remaining in the second period to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 2-1.
But the Penguins responded quickly with a score just 30 seconds later. Pascal Dupuis skated the puck hard to the net and got a shot off that was lost in a scrum by the crease. Chris Kunitz swooped in to bat the puck over the goal line to reclaim the Penguins’ two-goal lead with a 3-1 advantage.
(AP) - Chris Conner scored on Pittsburgh's first successful penalty shot in nearly four years, Jordan Staal added his third goal in three games and the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins beat the injury-thinned Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Two of the NHL's best teams met for only the third time since they faced each other in the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009 - they split a pair of games last season - but a number of top names were missing.
Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer, sat out a sixth consecutive game with a concussion. The Red Wings were without goalies Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood, forwards Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Danny Cleary and defenseman Brad Stuart.
• Chris Conner had not one, but two breakaways in the first period. He couldn’t convert either chance, but was awarded a penalty shot on his second opportunity. Conner juked to his backhand before sliding a puck under the pads of Joey MacDonald for the score. The penalty shot goal was the first for the Penguins since Jarkko Ruutu scored against Toronto (Jan. 20, 2007).
• Tyler Kennedy’s relentless pressure led to the Penguins’ first goal. Red Wings goaltender Joey MacDonald had the puck behind his net when Kennedy stole the rubber from him and made a quick pass to Jordan Staal on the side of the net. Staal easily tapped the puck over the goal line for his third goal in his last three games. Great hands from Kennedy on the play, which was also his 100th career point.
• The Red Wings entered CONSOL Energy Center a wounded team. Eight players are currently injured for Detroit, including three of its top four goaltenders. Five of the Wings inactive played in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final when Pittsburgh captured its third NHL championship. Out of action for the game were Dan Cleary, Pavel Datysuk, Tomas Holmstrom, Jimmy Howard, Chris Osgood, Thomas McCollum, Mike Modano and Chris Osgood.
• With the victory, the Penguins have earned back-to-back home wins against the Red Wings for the first time since capturing three straight victories over Detroit at Mellon Arena from Jan. 31, 1998 to Jan. 2, 2000.
• The Penguins announced that they signed center Mark Letestu to a two-year contract extension. Letestu has nine goals and 19 points this season.