Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh Penguins’

Pittsburgh at Detroit (3/21/11)

Monday, March 21st, 2011

The Red Wings were at home tonight playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Brent Johnson. Datsyuk, Franzen and Hudler were all still out for the Wings. Salei was back in the lineup but since they were short one forward they went with an extra defenseman and Kindl was able to stay in. The Penguins were also missing two of their top players in Crosby and Malkin.

The momentum in this game swung back and forth all night long. The first period started out all Red Wings and then the Penguins picked it up. The Red Wings didn’t score however and the Penguins did. Dupuis and Kunitz both scored for Pittsburgh while the Penguins were surging in the first period. It was clear early on that Howard was having a problem controlling rebounds tonight and the Penguins took advantage of that.

Pittsburgh continued to dominate through most of the second period. Dupuis scored a shorthanded goal and then Kennedy scored to make it four to nothing. Howard got the hook at that point and MacDonald came in to relieve him. The Red Wings continued to battle hard. Their energy level seemed to be going up steadily while Pittsburgh was starting to slow down. The Penguins had played the night before and the Red Wings were rested so that could have made a difference as the game went on. Zetterberg broke the Red Wings’ goose egg when he scored late in the second period making it four to one Penguins.

Incredibly, Detroit scored three more unanswered goals in just over half of the third period to tie the game. Filppula scored one and then Cleary and Modano scored power play goals. With nearly ten minutes left in the game it was all tied up. The Red Wings really dominated the rest of the game but didn’t score again.

In the overtime it was all out war. The two teams went at it with scoring chances galore at both ends. It was really exciting to watch but it didn’t solve anything and the game went to a shootout.

Bertuzzi, Modano and Cleary were the shooters for the Wings and Johnson stopped them all. The Penguins went with Kovalev, Letang and Neal. Unfortunately, the final shooter, Neal, placed his shot perfectly over MacDonald’s shoulder. It was a really tough shot that probably wouldn’t have been stopped by any goalie in the league.

The Penguins got the extra point but the Wings showed a ton of poise to not panic and stick to their game plan even being down four to nothing. It was an amazing comeback and MacDonald deserves a lot of credit for coming into to a really tough situation and battling through it.

This game had a nasty edge to it. The Penguins were running the Detroit players every chance they got. Unbelievably, they were even dishing out shots to the head. I didn’t expect that after the suspension that was just handed out to Matt Cooke. Abdelkader was slammed into the boards by Niskanen who then used his forearm to pin his head into the glass. That was pretty cheap and unnecessary. That one was called at least, but a few other hits to the head were not called even though they looked almost like suspension-worth shots.

All in all this was a great game. It was very exciting and even without a lot of the big stars it still felt a lot like some of the Stanley Cup Finals games of years past.

This 5-4 overtime loss brings us to:
95 points

Detroit at Pittsburgh (1/18/11)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The Red Wings played the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh. Joey MacDonald got the start for the Wings since Jimmy Howard wasn’t ready to go yet. Howard had to be the backup though because Thomas McCollum broke his finger earlier in the day. Marc-Andre Fleury was the Penguins’ goalie. Sidney Crosby was out of the lineup due to concussion symptoms.

For the first time this season I had the sense that the Red Wings were just outmatched tonight. I didn’t think they played poorly. They made some crucial mistakes but other than that I thought they played pretty well and had good energy. It just wasn’t effective.

The first mistake was early on in the first period. MacDonald was indecisive with the puck when he came out of the net to handle it. By the time he tried to make a play it was too late. Kennedy picked his pocket and passed it back to Staal who had a wide open net. Then Connor scored on a penalty shot making it two to nothing at the end of the first.

In the second period the Wings looked like they were rallying when Franzen scored a great goal late in the period. The Penguins got it back though just 30 seconds later. Kronwall flubbed a clearing attempt and everything broke down. Kunitz ended up scoring to put the Pens back up by two at the second intermission. The Penguins capped it off with an empty net goal at the end of the game.

Joey MacDonald played a great game aside from his early mistake. He made many great saves to keep it from getting out of hand. The Wings had good sustained pressure but Fleury was phenomenal and nothing they tried seemed to work. I think they guys are doing a good job to fight through these injuries but they just didn’t match up well enough against the Penguins tonight even without Sidney Crosby.

This 1-4 loss brings us to:
62 points

Pittsburgh at Detroit (3/22/10)

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Tonight it was the Red Wings and the Penguins in a rematch of the last two Stanley Cup finals. Jimmy Howard was the goalie for the Wings and Fleury was in net for the Penguins. Malkin was out of the lineup tonight. Eaves and Cleary were still out as well.

Late in the first period Filppula brought the puck into the Penguins’ end after receiving a nice pass through the neutral zone from Bertuzzi. Filppula did a neat little toe drag and shot a wrister between Gonchar’s legs. Fleury couldn’t see it in time because he was screened by Gonchar. The shot beat Fleury and gave the Wings the one to nothing lead.

The first period was a good one for the Red Wings. They had a lot of great scoring chances especially during the power plays.

The Red Wings continued playing well in the second period. They created a few good scoring chances in a row and you could feel that they were really buzzing. Lidstrom got the puck to Zetterberg who took it across the ice in front of the crease with Bertuzzi in front. Zetterberg let go a backhander that was stopped and came right back to him. He moved over a little and let it go again finding the top corner of the net to make it two to nothing Red Wings.

Later in the second period the Penguins dumped the puck in and chased it down. Kunitz and Dupuis battled for the puck and between the two of them they got it to the crease. The puck bounced around and got into the net to bring the Penguins within one. The goal was originally given to Kunitz but was later changed to Dupuis.

Early in the third period the Wings were on the move and Filppula passed it to Zetterberg at center ice. Zetterberg took it into the zone, made a few moves and fired. Fleury got a piece of it but it made it through him and into the net. That was Zetterberg’s second goal of the net and it made it three to one Wings.

The Wings continued to play really well for the rest of the third period. Not only could the Penguins not come back and score, but it was all they could do to stop the Red Wings from scoring again. Detroit played very aggressively and pressured hard right up until the end. The Red Wings won the game three to one and they looked dangerous doing it.

There was a little bit of mayhem after the final whistle. Zetterberg and Crosby did some pushing and shoving and then Jimmy Howard stepped up and grabbed Crosby. It was great to see Howard sticking up for himself and for Zetterberg.

This was a fantastic game. The Wings looked like a team on a roll. They might be getting hot at the perfect time.

This 1-3 win brings us to:
85 points

Detroit at Pittsburgh (1/31/10)

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

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