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Penguins vs. Red Wings: Pittsburgh isn't sharp, loses 5-2 to Detroit

Pretty bad game for the Penguins, you guys

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


Similar lineup to last game with one change - Cameron Gaunce is in for Steve Oleksy on defense.

Also pregame a ceremony for Sidney Crosby on his 1,000th point, he gets a gold plated stick in the locker-room from Evgeni Malkin and then fellow 1,000th point club member and team owner Mario Lemieux gives Crosby a plaque commemorating the achievement.

1st period

Trevor Daley, second game in a row hits the crossbar early in the game. At least it's close??

Detroit strikes Nicklas Jensen gets a good pass from Justin Abdelkader and freezes Murray with a fake slapshot and tucks it in. 1-0.

Pittsburgh strikes back, Tom Kuhnhackl scores his 3rd of the season while short-handed. Great pass from Kris Letang to help out. 1-1.

The good times don't last, Steve Ott hits Letang (not pictured: the puck) and then gets free for a backhand shot to score his 3rd goal of the game. Didn't even know Ott was still in the league before yesterday when he got destroyed in a fight against Brooks Orpik.

Shots 10-9 Detroit after one.

2nd period

Evgeni Malkin feeds Ian Cole and well he can't score two games in a row. Great save by Petr Mrazek.

Nick Bonino gets a Grade A chance but can't come through, another great stop by Mrazek.

For his part, Murray makes a great save here on Riley Sheahan to keep the Pens in striking distance.

Penguins out shoot the Red Wings 11-6 in the period, but no goals are scored by either side.

3rd period

Ask any coach, a goal in the first or last minute of the period is a game-changer. Detroit scores in the first minute of the 3rd period to go up 3-1. Brian Dumoulin gets a little lost in space against Henrik Zetterberg who runs a nice passing sequence to return a pass to Tomas Tatar.

Less than 2 minutes later Tomas Vanek gets a really generous gap from Trevor Daley (not ideal) and snaps a great shot off. 4-1 just like that for a game that was a 1-goal game coming out of intermission.

Immediately after that goal, Crosby is pissed and decides to do something about it, skates down and scores his league leading 32nd goal of the season 5-hole on Mrazek. 4-2 DRW.

That would be as close as the Penguins come, Luke Glendening ends the competitive portion of the game with an empty net goal. 5-2.

Some thoughts

  • Weirdly officiated game. The refs called 6 minors on each team, of varying amounts of actual effect on the game. And when Carl Hagelin got high-sticked (and clearly had a bloody nose) for some reason they went against the literal rulebook and only awarded a minor instead of a double minor. Whatevs.
  • And it's whatevs because the Pittsburgh power play was very bad. As mentioned above, it wasn't for a loss of opportunities, getting 7:12 total time but only 4 shots on goal, and no goals. That's bad.
  • If Brendan Smith is a potential trade target (as we addressed here earlier in the week) he shined tonight. 23:08 played. +2, 2 hits, 1 blocked shot. Very effective game for him. If he could play this same way every night, he would be a valuable pickup for a contending team as a rental from a basement team like Detroit.
  • Chris Kunitz played 14:42 and managed to be on ice (his fault or not) for 4 goals against. Unsurprisingly he was replaced on the Crosby line in the 3rd period by Patric Hornqvist.
  • Disappointing game, Detroit played yesterday afternoon at home and traveled to a rested Penguins team. But Pittsburgh wasn't sharp, in any aspect from goalie to defense to forwards to power play to discipline. Bad recipe.

Tough loss but the best part is it's over and no obvious injuries. The Penguins travel to Carolina for their next game on Tuesday.