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Pens fall to Red Wings 4-1 in Pre-Season Game 2

The 2nd Pre-Season game resulted in the Pittsburgh Penguins getting beat in their home opener against the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-1. The Pens are now 0-1-1 in Pre-Season play.

Justin K. Aller

With all 3 teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Pittsburgh Steelers playing tonight there is quite an impressive crowd in the arena tonight.

1st Period

The Penguins got plenty of opportunities, including 3 Power Play chances, but were unable to find the back of the net. The chemistry between the top line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby, and Pascal Dupuis is evident. Brandon Sutter and Jussi Jokinen not so much, but they are missing the partner they practiced with all week Matt D`Agostini.

The Pens outshot the Red Wings 8-6, with 4 of those shots coming on the PP, but Detroit ended the period with a 1-0 lead. The Pens went 0/3 on the PP, led the game 9 hits to 8, and led with 9 faceoffs to 6.

1st Detroit goal Tomas Tatar from Landon Ferraro and Brendan Smith. Wraparound shot sailed through the crease past Tomas Vokoun, Simon Despres stood in the crease looking lost, and Deryk Engelland battled with Tatar but failed to prevent the shot.

2nd Period

Sutter's line looked much better in the 2nd, showing some chemistry as they get used to playing with one another, even resulting in the Pens lone goal. The Red Wings led shots 8-7 and led the scoring 3-1. The Pens went 0/1 on the PP and 2/4 on the PK.

1st Penguins penalty was a hook by Crosby, although it looked like there was a good deal of embellishment involved. It's ok though, they were just making up for not calling a dive on Letang when he got "tripped" in the 1st period. Detroit scored.

2nd Penguins penalty was a high stick by Vokoun, served by Chris Kunitz. It was followed mere seconds later by the 3rd Penguins penalty Simon Despres tossing the puck over the glass and going off for a Delay of Game. But a strong showing by the PK and the pens killed the 5-on-3.

4th Penguins penalty was a trip from Dominik Uher. Detroit scored.

1st Pittsburgh goal Brandon Sutter receives a lead pass from Chris Conner, speeds into the Detroit zone nearly unopposed, and snipes a shot past Jimmy Howard. 2nd Assist credited to Paul Martin who initiated the breakout to Conner.

2nd Detroit goal scored on the PP, Adam Almqvist sniped it through traffic, with Dany Cleary making trouble in the crease to open up the scoring lane. Assists credited to Smith and Tatar.

3rd Detroit goal was another snipe by Almqvist on the PP. Assists credited to Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk.

4th Detroit goal is Datsyuk capitalizing on a neutral zone turnover and smoothly stickhandling his way past Martin to take a shot on goal, Vokoun makes the save but sends the rebound directly back to Datsyuk who backhands it into an open net.

3rd Period

The 3rd was pretty lackluster, the Red Wings were just settling down and protecting their lead, and the Pens were unable to find the back of the net. Pens outshot Red Wings 10-4 but there were no goals scored this period. The Pens also went 0/1 on the PP and 1/1 on the PK.

5th Penguins penalty was a high stick from Crosby. They killed that one.

Overall Performance

  • Tomas Vokoun made 11 saves on 15 shots, 2 of those goals came on the PP. He had a .733 Sv% and a 6.04 GAA in his 40 minutes on the ice. It's just 1 game, and a meaningless pre-season loss, so there is no need to panic about our defense and goaltending just yet. Eric Hartzell, who replaced him in the 3rd, stopped all 4 of the half-hearted attempts he faced as the Red Wings were busy protecting their lead.
  • Crosby's line, while unable to connect to find the back of the net, looked good on the ice together. The chemistry between them is still evident. Sutter's line actually looked nice together after they got a chance to develop chemistry with Conner. They were solid at both ends of the ice.
  • The PK got beat twice, but they were solid for the most part, killing a nearly 2-minute 5-on-3. Craig Adams was great defensively, both at even strength and on the PK.
  • Simon Despres still has some consistency issues he needs to work on. He is young, so its not a shock, but it is becoming more evident that perhaps he wasn't actually ready to be a Top 4 D this year. Olli Maatta has also shown that he still has a ways to go developmentally before he is ready to compete against NHL opponents. The raw skill is there, but he needs work still.
  • Overall the Pens out shot the Red Wings 24 to 19, but were outscored 4-1. The lackluster Power Play was really feeling the loss of their 2nd lien superstars and went 0 for 5 on the night. The PK, while failing to stop 2 snipes, did manage a respectable 3 for 5. Pens led Hits 32 to 18 and Blocked Shots 18 to 9, and even had a slight edge on Takeaways 5 to 4. However they had 7 giveaways to none and barely lost the faceoff battle 27 to 28.

The next game coming up is Thursday September 19th at 8pm away at the Chicago Blackhawks. Dan Bylsma said in his post-game presser that the first round of roster cuts will be coming within 24 hours and the team will be split into just 2 groups instead of the 3 they had skated in last week.