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Sid’s Vicious: Pittsburgh 2, Detroit 1

Detroit played much better than the last few, but Crosby and Malkin proved too much in overtime.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After getting blown out the last game 8-2 by the New York Islanders, Detroit is set to play Pittsburgh, who recently got Sidney Crosby back. This should be fun.

First Period

We are 45 seconds into the game, and the score is still 0-0, so this is a better start than the Islanders game.

Givani Smith gets a pretty good chance a couple minutes in. After that, Pittsburgh had some sustained pressure, but couldn’t find the net. Detroit’s gotten pretty lucky so far, with Red Wings tripping up Penguins a few times, but no calls yet.

At the first TV timeout, this game is 100% better than last game, although that’s obviously not a high bar to clear. Both team has had some good chances, but neither goalie has had to come up big yet.

The first penalty of the game goes to Frans Nielsen for slashing. Fortunately for Detroit, Crosby gets his stick caught in Luke Glendening’s legs to even it up after only 5 seconds of power play time.

I’m not saying that Ken Daniels is not showing a sadistic side by bringing up 2009 every five minutes, but I’m not not saying it.

Each team get a good chance, with Larkin and Bertuzzi combining at one end and Crosby taking a shot from the circle at the other end, but it’s still 0-0 at the second TV timeout.

Detroit is playing a pretty good road period so far.

Darren Helm tugs on Superman’s cape and takes a penalty. Pittsburgh nearly scores on the delayed call.

Detroit kills off the penalty, although I don’t recommend they continue the strategy of having the puck in their zone the entire penalty kill. Howard was in good position throughout, and hopefully he can get some confidence back.

Filip Zadina continues to be one of the Red Wings’ best forwards, and he nearly scores on two consecutive plays. His play has been a bright spot in this disappointing season.

At the end of the first, the score is still 0-0, which based on the last couple games has to be considered a victory.

Second Period

Malkin just misses the corner a minute into the period. The replay shows that Howard got his glove on it.

Detroit draws a penalty 2 minutes in. The first minute of the power play was filled with mistakes, several of them by Mike Green. Detroit then got a very good chance that was denied.

GOAL! Zadina! I think. Smith was screening the goalie, and the puck looked really close to hitting his stick, but I think it’s Zadina’s goal. Either way, Detroit scores on the power play. Assists are credited to Nielsen and Daley.

Givani Smith then nearly scored twice in the next minute or so. The first was off a feed from Larkin in the slot, the second after driving the net. Smith is definitely starting to make himself more noticeable, and he’s having a good game.

Dylan Larkin went into the boards awkwardly a few minutes ago. He goes to the dressing room after being tripped up going to the net. It didn’t look malicious, he just fell in a bad spot. Detroit goes to another power play.

Zadina’s stick broke on a good chance from the right of Murray. Hronek had a one-timer, but it hit Bertuzzi in front of the net, knocking him down.

Larkin is back on the bench. Phew.

Howard played a puck he likely didn’t have to, and nearly paid for it. A Penguin got to the puck next and rang one off the post. The game is getting really physical at both ends.

Howard continues to look good tonight. The period ends 1-0 Detroit.

Third Period

After a few chances at each end, Helm takes down Crosby, and this scary power play goes to work again.

It doesn’t take long for Bryan Rust to tie the game. Howard really had no chance. Three quick passes and Rust has a pretty easy shot. 1-1.

A little later, Howard made a big save on Letang, who dangled a defender and broke in on Howard in the slot.

Marcus Pettersson takes a penalty, and Detroit goes back to the power play. It’s not as scary as Pittsburgh’s power play, although...wait...it is, just in a different way.

Hronek got off a couple one-timers, but other than that, not much happened on the power play. 1-1 with just under half the period left to play.

Aston-Reese looked to give Pittsburgh the lead, but the puck deflected off Howard’s glove and off the crossbar. Still 1-1 going into the final TV timeout in regulation.

Detroit nearly took the lead twice, first by Larkin, and then by Fabbri. It’s good to see Detroit pressing for the win, and not just playing for overtime. That ends up being just what we get, for only the 6th time this season for Detroit.

Overtime

Malkin steals the puck from Larkin and sets up Rust for what looked like could be the game winning goal, but Howard makes the save. Luke Glendening takes a bad penalty, and this is going to be a really tough kill.

Crosby wins it in overtime on a tip from a Malkin pass. Howard had no chance.

It’s a tough way to lose, but this was a much better effort overall than the last couple games have been. Detroit played with a lot of energy. Ultimately, Detroit gave Pittsburgh too many chances on the power play, and the deadly Penguins power play made them pay.