Detroit at Pittsburgh (1/31/10)

The Red Wings were on the road this afternoon to play the Penguins at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Contrary to the rumors from a few days ago Holmstrom was not ready to play yet for this game. Now he’s expected to return on Tuesday and Franzen should be back a week later. Marc-Andre Fleury was in net for the Penguins and it was Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings.

There was no scoring in the first period but it wasn’t for lack of chances on the part of the Penguins. The Red Wings allowed 16 shots on goal in the first period so they were on pace again for a pretty poor defensive showing. Luckily, Jimmy Howard continued to be red hot and stopped every shot. As for offense, the Red Wings only had 6 shots on goal. It was not a good first period but fortunately no damage was done.

In the second period the Red Wings started playing a litte better. They were putting some good pressure on Pittsburgh and not giving up quite as many shots.

Late in the second period Detroit had just finished a power play so all their top line guys were on the bench. Bylsma put his top line out there to take advantage of the situation. Goligoski rifled the puck across the ice to a wide open Crosby. Howard quickly moved over to get into position but when he did Crosby went forehand to backhand around him and put it in the net. That gave the Penguins the one to nothing lead with about three minutes to go in the second period.

There were no other goals in the second. Although they seemed to have a little more energy in the second period the Red Wings still gave up 13 shots on goal and only had 5 themselves. It’s possible that the stats may have had a bit of a hometown skew.

In the third period the Red Wings stepped it up even more. They had some really good shifts and some extended pressure. With just under 9 minutes left in the game Brad Stuart got the puck at the point and nobody came after him. He had all day so he wound up and blasted one with Cleary in front of Fleury and Zetterberg right on the doorstep as well. Cleary made it hard for Fleury to see the puck and then he tipped it, redirecting it into the net for the game tying goal.

The tie held through the end of regulation time.

The pace of the overtime period was excellent. Both teams were playing really well.

During the overtime Kronwall collided with Staal and left the ice in pain and limping badly. It was hard to tell how serious it was. He didn’t leave the bench area so I’m hoping it was just a Charlie horse but it looked like it could be something serious. He never returned to the game but it was nearly over so that doesn’t necessarily mean much.

The Red Wings had a power play at the end of the OT but couldn’t score so the game went to the shootout.

The first shooter in the shootout was Letang. He made a good move but Howard stayed with him and stopped the puck. Datsyuk went next and he missed the net. Then Crosby was up and he roofed it over Howard’s outstretched pad for the goal. Jason Williams was up next for the Wings. He came in with speed and shot it but Fleury got it with the glove. Then it was Malkin. He came in slowly and put it around Howard’s skate and into the net. That gave the Penguins the win.

It took a while for the Red Wings to get going in this game. Once they did they looked pretty good. If they can start playing a full 60 minutes like they did in the third period and the overtime they’ll be doing alright.

This 1-2 overtime loss brings us to:
62 points

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