PITTSBURGH - It was not exactly a recipe for success for the Red Wings, coming into Pittsburgh for the second of back-to-back games against a team that had lost just three games at home in regulation all season.
But the Wings got great goaltending, balanced scoring and solid penalty killing to defeat the Penguins, 5-2, at PPG Paints Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Penguins are 24-4-3 at home.
It capped off a satisfying weekend after defeating the league-leading Washington Capitals in a shootout at home on Saturday.
1. Nick Jensen : Since Dec. 20 when he made his NHL debut, Jensen has established a foothold in the lineup, getting scratched only once on Jan. 10 in Chicago. His skating has enabled him to play solid defense but Jensen also has some offensive flair. He displayed it at 8:48 of the first period when Justin Abdelkader sprung Jensen for a breakaway. Jensen faked a slapshot, then skated around goaltender Matt Murray, who had gone down to make a save, and put the puck in the open net. It's Jensen's third goal in 26 games this season.
Quotable: "Well it started in the D zone. The whole line played great defense there. Double A, (Andreas) Athanasiou made a good play to Abdelkader and I was joining the rush like we try to get our D to do. I happened to get a breakaway out of it. Coming down I was thinking shot first. It's unfamiliar territory for me. I saw he was pretty far out of his net and I didn't have much to shoot at so I held onto it a little bit, kind of went around him, saw a wide open net and just put it in." - Jensen
Quotable II: "Yes. No, I didn't, I'm just kidding. Another shootout guy for us." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill, asked if he knew Jensen had that move
2. Steve Ott: Speaking of unlikely scorers, there's Ott. Ott got the puck from Riley Sheahan in the right circle and backhanded a shot past Murray at 16:29 of the first, helping the Wings re-take the lead. The goal came after Ott got Penguins defenseman Kris Letang with a big hit. It was Ott's first goal since Nov. 29 against the Dallas Stars, a span of 21 games. In his career against the Penguins, Ott has five goals and five assists in 18 games.
Quotable: "I went old school there, huh? I had some hands. To be honest with you, She (Sheahan) found me in the slot with a great pass. It kinda was just out of the reach of one of their players. I didn't know if it was going to make it, to be honest with you, and then I got it and tried to pull the goalie over as far as I can and the backhand found a way in." - Ott
3. Petr Mrazek: For the second time this season, Mrazek started both games of a back-to-back. Against the offensively loaded Penguins, Mrazek made 24 saves. Only Tom Kuhnhackl with a shorthanded goal and Sidney Crosby with his 32nd goal of the season were able to beat him. Early in the first, Phil Kessel got loose on the breakaway but Mrazek stopped him. In the second, Nick Bonino thought he had a wide-open net until Mrazek stretched out to glove the backhand attempt.
Quotable: "Petr's been great for us here the last 7-8 starts. The way he's been playing this week, especially the saves. Some highlight saves both yesterday and today. I've said it before. You can't ask for anything more than what we're getting from Petr right now." - Henrik Zetterberg
Quotable II: "I think Petr's game has been coming for a long time. I think going back for a while, there was a stretch maybe where he wasn't getting the bounces but I thought he was playing good. Now he's really starting to heat up and when Petr heats up, he's as good as anybody in the league and I thought he was excellent tonight." - Blashill