Penguins have lost 3 of 4 games
The Penguins continue to struggle putting together a complete game as Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg scored twice and added an assist, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, in a rematch of the past two Stanley Cup finals.
Zetterberg and the Red Wings out shot the Penguins 33-27 and controlled the play for much of the game. Appearing in his 19th straight game, rookie goaltender Jimmy Howard made 26 to saves to earn the win as the Red Wings have won 5 of their past 6 games.
The Red Wings jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a first period goal by Valtteri Filppula (7) and Henrik Zetterberg (21) made it 2-0 at 7:38 of the 2nd period.
Pittsburgh’s Pascal Dupuis got the Penguins within one goal, scoring his 18th goal of the season at 16:54 of the 2nd period, off of an aggressive fore-check by the Penguins top unit of Chris Kunitz-Sidney Crosby and Dupuis. The goal was first credited to Chris Kunitz but later given to Dupuis.
Pittsburgh though was unable to generate consistent offense and Henrik Zetterberg struck again just a 1:20 into the third, firing a snap shot past Marc Andre Fleury just inside the blue line. It was a shot that Fleury have to make a save on.
Defensively the Penguins struggled, playing a passive game inside their blueline giving the Red Wings space to attack them offensively.
The pairing of Sergei Gonchar and Mark Eaton were on the ice for all three Red Wings goals.
Holding a two goal lead, the Red Wings played lock down defense, limiting the Penguins to 8 third period shots.
During the finals seconds of the game Sidney Crosby took a few shots at Zetterberg, which led to a scrum behind the Red Wings goal as Jimmy Howard gave Crosby face wash and threw what appeared to be a few punches.
The Penguins star center was a minus-2 in the game and held pointless. Crosby who is 5 goals away from the elusive 50 goal mark, has not scored in 5 games and only has 3 goals in 11 games since the Olympic break.
Pittsburgh which has played 6 of their last 7 games on the road, were without the services of Evgeni Malkin due to a foot injury.
*The New Jersey Devils were idle and the Penguins remain two points ahead of the Devils for first place in the Atlantic Division.
*Defenseman Jay McKee and forward Eric Godard were Pittsburgh’s healthy scratches.
*Forward Billy Guerin and defenseman Kris Letang each led the Penguins with 4 shots on goal.
*The Penguins to action Wednesday night against the Washington Capitals. Pittsburgh is 0-2 against the Capitals this season.