After a few days off following an overtime win against the Blue Jackets on Saturday, the Red Wings headed to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins in their new arena. Unfortunately for the Wings, the game was ugly from the start and the lack of depth was apparent against the Penguins--who are not the Blue Jackets, if you get my point.
Joey MacDonald helped the Penguins get on the board early as he had a horrible miscue behind his own net. Credit goes to
Pumba Tyler Kennedy for hustling in to take the puck away from MacDonald and feeding it back to Jordan Staal, who tapped it home for the opening goal at 3:02. Kris Draper was called for hooking on Chris Conner at 11:29 of the first as Conner had a breakaway. The former Michigan Tech player and put the ensuing penalty shot past MacDonald for a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead.
See how the rest played out after the jump.
On a play similar to the Draper/Conner one, Drew Miller was tripped by Kris Letang on a breakaway but it only resulted in a two-minute power play instead of the penalty shot Conner was awarded. The Wings were unable to score on that power play as well as the three additional ones. Johan Franzen brought the Wings to within one at 17:28 on a great feed from Patrick Eaves. Franzen's goal was his 20th of the season his second in two games while Henrik Zetterberg added another point and has tallied points in 13 of the last 15 games.
Unfortunately for the Wings, that diminished lead was short lived as Chris Kunitz put it back to 2 goals just 30 seconds later. Niklas Kronwall made the first of two bad plays as his pass out of the neutral zone was easily intercepted by Evgeni Malkin. Malkin fed the puck across to Pascal Dupuis who put a backhand on net. The rebound kicked out to Kunitz and it was 3-1 Pittsburgh. Matt Cooke added an empty net goal and with the exception of two late penalties on Jakub Kindl and Mike Rupp, the game was devoid of any snarl that we may have expected.
The Wings outshot the Penguins 37-29 and won 33 of 56 faceoffs (58.9%) but Marc-Andre Fleury played strong in net and the Penguins had little trouble against the injury depleted Red Wings.
::Three points for discussion::
- Where the hell was the emotion and energy from the team tonight. It may just have been my perception of things but the team did not look very interested (despite the shot difference) in the game and didn't have much pep in their step. As a tangent of this, where was the snarl between these two teams? Was it because Crosby was out?
- How bad can you feel for Joey MacDonald? The guy makes a boneheaded play on the first goal surely but after that the team in front of him just played poorly. He had to scrap out a win against the Blue Jackets yet had to deal with tonight's spotty defense.
- How often do the Wings outshoot the opposition and win more faceoffs and still lose? I'd imagine it's pretty rare. Oh well, back at it on Thursday.