DETROIT – Pittsburgh jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Pascal Dupuis
1:42 into the opening period. However, the Red Wings scored the next four goals and bested the Penguins, 4-1.
For the Penguins, who were missing many key players in the game, it was their final pre-season contest. Pittsburgh opens the regular season Friday against the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena in which the “2009 Stanley Cup Champions” banner will be raised to the rafters.
The Penguins played their final pre-season game against Detroit without five regulars in the lineup. Captain Sidney Crosby
, who left the team's previous pre-season game with a tight groin, skated in the morning but did not make the trip to the Motor City. Evgeni Malkin
, Ruslan Fedotenko, Sergei Gonchar and Mark Eaton also sat out the game.
Below were the line combinations/pairings for the contest:
Chris Conner continued his strong training camp with an assist on the lone Pittsburgh goal. Conner carried the puck to the side of the Red Wings cage. He made a cross-ice pass to Dupuis, who got off two shots and the opening goal. Conner also had a game-high four hits.
The Penguins’ penalty killers were counterattacking ferociously. In turn, the Penguins created a number of shorthanded opportunities, including a few breakaways. Jordan Staal
intercepted an attempted D-to-D pass along the Pittsburgh blue line. Staal raced up ice and got off a shot on goal. Staal was awarded a penalty shot for his efforts.
Later, Craig Adams
received a pass through the neutral zone and sneaked behind Detroit’s defense for a breakaway. Adams deked but his shot sailed just wide of the net.
Nate Guenin gave the team a scare after a clearing attempt hit him in the face. Guenin collapsed to the ice and needed assistance to the bench. Although the puck left a nice mark on his face, Guenin returned to finish the game.
Even though it was a pre-season contest, the rivalry was in full effect between Detroit and Pittsburgh, culminating in several scrums and rough stuff. The Penguins took 12 penalties for 40 minutes in the contest.
In the third period Detroit’s Johan Franzen cross checked Kris Letang
in the face. This enraged veteran Bill Guerin, who went after Franzen. Brian Rafalski cut off Guerin but Chris Kunitz
managed to drag Franzen to the ice. Some punches were thrown in the midst of the melee. Guerin received a game misconduct for the incident.
Later in the period another ruckus broke out in front of the Detroit bench. One of the Red Wings elbowed Paul Bissonnette in the face and Brooks Orpik
and Eric Godard sprang into action. Godard threw his gloves to the ice and grabbed Mattias Ritola, but the Red Wing backed down from the challenge. Godard received a game misconduct.
With Crosby, Malkin and Gonchar out of the lineup, Staal, Guerin and Oprik all wore an “A.”
Pittsburgh outshot Detroit, 26-24.
Dupuis scored his first goal of the pre-season.
Staal led all players with 24:31 minutes of ice time. He also registered five shots and won 61 percent of his faceoffs (14-of-23).Tyler Kennedy
had a game-high six shots.
Conner and Orpik tied for a game-high four hits.
Goligoski blocked a game-high three shots.