RED WINGS 5 – PENGUINS 1
DET 01:21 – RILEY SHEAHAN (12)
DET 18:06 – TEEMU PULKKINEN (4)
DET 00:39 (PPG) – MAREK ZIDLICKY (7)
DET 07:44 – HENRIK ZETTERBERG (16)
DET 03:02 – TEEMU PULKKINEN (5)
PIT 09:10 – DAVID PERRON (17)
Petr Mrazek (14-5-1, 2.47 GAA, .914 SV%) stopped 42 of 43 shots, earning his 14th win of the season. Despite being badly outshot, Mrazak was given a 5-0 cushion as the Penguins were a mess defensively.
Marc Andre Fleury (31-15-7, 2.23 GAA, .922 SV%) suffered the loss and was pulled before the mid-way point of the second period, allowing 4 goals on 16 shots. Fleury was not sharp from the start but neither was the team in front of him.
A horrendous turnover by Brandon Sutter just inside the Penguins blueline leading to the Red Wings 4th goal of the game at 7:44 of the second period was just telling of the Penguins day.
Fleury has allowed 8 goals in his last 87:44 of playing time. Thomas Greiss came into relief, and turned aside 8 of 9 shots.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY
The Penguins racked up 64 penalty minutes to the Red Wings 14, but each team was awarded four power play opportunities. Pittsburgh went 0/4 on the man advantage and are 1 for their last 18 on the power play. The Penguins, though, managed 17 power play shots.
Detroit went 1-for-4 on the power play, converting a 5-on-3 goal from Marek Zidlicky as the Penguins started the second period with five players in the penalty box.
5 v 5 Play
For the number that counts (goals) the Red Wings outscored the Penguins, 3-1 at 5 v 5, though the Penguins outshot the Red Wings 25-13, 5 v 5, and held a 49-32 advantage in shot attempts.
David Perron scored the Penguins lone goal of the afternoon, finding a soft spot in the slot and burying a one-timer past Mrazek.
From their goaltender on out, the Penguins are a team where in the first 10 minutes you know whether it’s going to be a strong game from them or a potentially awful game.
Today it was another dud performance in an afternoon game (4-8-2 in last 14 afternoon games) and the Penguins lost their composure from Steve Downie (22 PIM) once again, who racked up 22 penalty minutes, to other key players from Kris Letang (22 PIM) and Chris Kunitz (14 PIM).
“Uncharacteristic of guys like Kunitz and Letang to do that,” Johnston said of the game misconducts that included Kunitz shooting a puck towards a ref at the end of the first period “Certainly I thought our team got on edge way too quick in the game…… Certainly penalties, 10 minute misconducts, that killed us tonight….. It can’t be your leaders,” Johnston added.
The Penguins are averaging 14.5 penalty minutes per game, highest in the NHL.
The past couple games there’s been more talk in the Penguins room afterwards of learning a lesson than playing the right way.
“Tough game, didn’t really give ourselves a chance,” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. “Tough start, penalties and stuff, can’t happen this time of the year,” Crosby said. Pretty good lesson….Good learning lesson here.”
Johnston doesn’t seem too concerned with Kunitz and Letang but again expressed his displeasure with Steve Downie who now has 221 penalty minutes on the season.
“I met with him before the game and told him we just can’t have that,” Johnston said of Downie.
Good thing they had that talk or he would have had 40 penalty minutes.
The most concerning issue for the Penguins was losing Patric Hornqvist who went down with an injury that could be abdominal. “It looked bad,” Johnston said. Hornqvist out for any extended perior will doom the Penguins come post-season time.