The Penguins (22-19-3) resumed play after their bye week by playing host to the Detroit Red Wings (17-17-7). The Penguins and Red Wings last met on New Year’s Eve in a game that the Penguins would like to leave in 2017, an ugly 4-1 loss.
Yesterday, it was announced that Matt Murray was sent back home to Ontario to deal with a family issue, leaving the Penguins with only one goaltender on the roster. As a result, the team recalled Casey DeSmith for the fourth time this year.
With all of that out of the way, the Penguins looked like this:
Lined up and ready for Detroit. pic.twitter.com/fMyjdvduNV— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
And the Red Wings starters:
Four minutes in, Evgeni Malkin got the Penguins on the board. A quick pass from Carl Hagelin and one goal post later, the Penguins had a one-goal lead.
Right after the goal, the Penguins were penalized. Dominik Simon was called for slashing in the defensive zone. The penalty would successfully be killed.
The Penguins also honored former Penguin and current Red Wing, Trevor Daley:
We may have acquired you via trade, but we would never trade our memories with you. Thank you for being a part of two incredible championship runs. pic.twitter.com/lhC2hYTYJP— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
At the halfway point of the period, Jake Guentzel was caught dumping the puck over the glass and was promptly sent off for delaying the game. This penalty would be killed as well.
Three straight penalties now: the goalscorer, Malkin, was then called for tripping Tomas Tatar. This time around, Justin Abdelkader snuck the puck underneath the five hole of Tristan Jarry to tie the game at 1. The third time was the charm.
After three straight Wings power-plays, the Penguins were given their first chance with the man advantage. A cross-checking penalty was called on Danny DeKeyser for performing the action on Patric Hornqvist in the neutral zone behind the play.
After a slow start to the power-play, Phil Kessel received a nice drop pass, dropped it off at the blue line, and Sidney Crosby would deliver the goods to Phil’s stick to regain the lead.
He's an All-Star in our book.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
Kessel’s 28 power-play points are most in the NHL. His point streak is now at three games (2G-3A). pic.twitter.com/Gi9g8bsNs4
Someone heard that he was snubbed from the All-Star Game.
With 1:19 left, Dominik Simon was penalized for the second time in the period. He was called for high-sticking Dylan Larkin. The period would come to an end and the Penguins held on to a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Stats after one:
And it was all yellowwww pic.twitter.com/QFGoVJ8cBP— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
The carryover power-play time the Red Wings had to start the period expired.
Evgeni Malkin would get his second of the game and give the Penguins a 3-1 lead. A beautiful pass from Kessel found the skates, then the stick, of Evgeni Malkin to beat Jimmy Howard on the short side.
Right after the goal, Phil Kessel was sprung on a breakaway, but Howard stopped this one.
Justin Abdelkader was called for interfering on Phil Kessel, giving the Penguins another chance to extend the lead. The power-play carried a marvelously frantic pace. Chances for the Pens were aplenty, but alas, there was no goal here.
For the fifth time in the game, the Penguins were set to serve a penalty. The man with the golden stick, Evgeni Malkin, hooked Martin Frk. The Penguins would resume 5-on-5 action two minutes later.
Right after that penalty, Jamie Oleksiak was penalized and sent to the sin bin for slashing. The Penguin PKers would do the job once again and Detroit would go to 1-for-6 on the power-play.
With 6:04 left in the second frame, Tomas Tatar was called for holding Matt Hunwick. This power-play would not bring a goal with it for the Penguins.
After a plethora of penates, the second period would come to an end with the Penguins holding onto a 3-1 lead.
Numbers after 40 minutes:
Things are still going well. pic.twitter.com/Ibbq1F3C7F— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 13, 2018
Three minutes into the final period, Nick Jensen was penalized for interfering with Conor Sheary. This was the tenth total penalty of the game. Moments later, Sidney Crosby would put the Penguins up 4-1 with a great stick lift and a beautiful snipe.
I'll just lift your stick and take that puck, thanks. pic.twitter.com/BFdHHStgbd— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 13, 2018
Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson was penalized for interference. During the power-play, Olli Maatta was sent off for holding, sending both teams into 4-on-4 mode for the time being. Both penalties came to an end.
Nothing too exciting was shown for the remainder of the game. Evgeni Malkin was looking for the hat-trick, but time would run out and the Penguins would take this game by a score of 4-1.
- 9 points from Kessel, Crosby, and Malkin is quite the night. This three-headed monster is heating up at just the right time.
- Brian Dumoulin was the best defenseman on the ice. His play, especially on the penalty-kill, was superb throughout the game.
- The penalty-killers were out in full force, probably more than Mike Sullivan wanted to see, but they did their job and did it very, very well. Killing 6 of 7 penalties is all you need to see to show how durable the group was.
- The Penguins will want to keep up their winning ways and they won't have to wait long for that either. The team will be back in action tomorrow night when they round out this back-to-back by hosting the New York Rangers.