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Malkin Leads Penguins Past Red Wings

by Jason Seidling / Pittsburgh Penguins
DETROIT – The Penguins closed the books on a solid preseason campaign Sunday night by beating one of their archrivals, the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2, at Joe Louis Arena.

Evgeni Malkin led the way for the Penguins, scoring a goal in the third period and adding three helpers for a four-point night.

Malkin wasn’t the only Penguin flying high in the exhibition-finale as Mike Comrie (2G), Zbynek Michalek (2A), Alex Goligoski (1G-1A) and Chris Kunitz (1G-1A) also posted multiple-point nights.

Pavel Datsyuk and Mike Modano scored for Detroit.

Pittsburgh scored on each of their first two shots and jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes en route to victory.

Comrie opening the scoring for the Penguins, who were playing without the services of the injured Sidney Crosby, Arron Asham and Brooks Orpik, when a Michalek shot from the top of the near circle deflected off his shoulder and into the net behind Detroit netminder Chris Osgood just 4:19 into the game.

Kunitz increased that lead to 2-0 3:21 later when he finished off a nifty setup from Mark Letestu by one-timing a shot into an empty cage behind a prone Osgood off the rush.

Datsyuk got Detroit within one when he converted a Henrik Zetterberg miss off the end boards behind Marc-Andre Fleury at 10:24 of the opening frame.

That would be one of just two pucks that eluded Fleury, as the Penguins goaltender turned in yet another quality effort with 22 saves.

RELATED ARTICLE: Comrie's Strong Preseason Continues With Two Goals Versus Wings >>

Fleury finished the exhibition season with a perfect 3-0 record, stopping 88 of the 94 shots he faced for a .936 save percentage.

Comrie regained Pittsburgh’s two-goal advantage when he poked home a Goligoski rebound at 19:46 of the first period for a power-player marker that gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead.

The Penguins tacked on a fourth goal in the second period when Goligoski took a Michalek pass at the left point and ripped a laser past Osgood, who never saw the shot thanks to the presence of 6-foot-4 Eric Tangradi in his grill providing a screen.

Malkin finished off a spectacular preseason which saw him tie Letestu and Goligoski for the team-scoring lead with six points (3G-3A) when he picked up the Penguins’ final goal 2:43 into the final frame.

Malkin was all over the ice against Detroit, and he was rewarded for his efforts when he stole the puck off the Wings Jonathan Ericsson below the near faceoff dot, walked in and beat Osgood on a play that was very similar to the opening goal Maxime Talbot scored in Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final.

Modano rounded out the scoring summary by slamming home a loose puck less than a minute after Malkin’s tally.

With the 5-1 preseason record under their belts, the Penguins must now spend the next four days getting their walking wounded back healthy as they prepare to open the 2010-11 regular season on Thursday night in the first-ever home opener at CONSOL Energy Center against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m.

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