On this “Hockey Day in a America,” I only have one question: Why?
Why did we have to have the Red Wings on national television? We know the outcome here — the team will get clown-shoe’d by the Penguins and the entire hockey world will see it happen. Seems bad for both sides of the business.
Okay, now that I have that out of the way, lets get down to the clown-shoe-ing that Detroit was handed by Pittsburgh on an early Sunday afternoon.
Detroit was the first team on the scoreboard, coming from Valtteri Filppula. Some real nice work from the entire line, Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou both had a hand in making it happen.
Unfortunately, the one-goal lead didn’t hold for long. While the first period was packed with entertainment, it seemed all but satisfying. Pittsburgh’s fourth line knotted the score not long after Detroit — A big group packed in front of Jimmy Howard managed to poke the puck into the net. The Penguins got the next goal on the power-play, it didn’t take long, either. Kris Letang wired the puck from the point on a very well-screened Howard. That was it for scoring in the opening period, but later on in the period, the Red Wings got a few really nice scoring chances. One in particular, was a two-on-one chance with Tyler Bertuzzi and Andreas Athanasiou — perfectly set up by AA, but Bert launched the puck over the net.
Shit kept going south for the Detroit Red Wings.
The second period was a miserable 20 minutes to endure. Pittsburgh’s offense was on a different level — putting up three goals in the middle stanza alone. Jeff Blashill pulled the plug on Jimmy Howard after the fourth goal, leading way for Jonathan Bernier to have to come clean up the mess — again. Not long after coming in, Patric Hornqvist scored a hat-trick goal.
If you wanted any positives out of the second period, I’m afraid I don’t have any for you! That was when the Wings had their life sucked out of them. From there on out, they looked gassed.
Filip Hronek did not return to the game after the second period. No reason was given at the time, but I suspect it’s an upper-body injury.
The third period was a lot of Pittsburgh killing off time. Again, the Red Wings struggled to keep it clean with zone exits/entries. Up until this point, I haven’t really mentioned Sidney Crosby’s name — but he was excellent all game long. To put it simple, the Crosby line trash-canned anyone they were matched with.
The Red Wings never really had a chance in this game outside of the very short amount of time they had the lead. Matt Murray played his ass off, and earned a really big win for his team.
Detroit heads home now for a Tuesday night matchup with the Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena.