Detroit Red Wings win third straight; outlast Penguins

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings returned home to square off against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night following a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets this past Monday.

There were two lineup changes from Monday in Columbus. Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde went back to starter Ville Husso in goal following James Reimer’s shutout; no real surprise. The other move was on the backend. Veteran defenseman Jeff Petry drew back into Detroit’s lineup to face his former team, and Justin Holl was the healthy scratch for the first time this season.

Lalonde elected to roll with a more traditional 12 forwards and six defenders again without Robby Fabbri. Austin Czarnik will again anchor the fourth line, as he did Monday.

The Detroit Red Wings hold on to win their third straight.

First Period

Things didn’t start well for the Detroit Red Wings. Evgeni Malkin scored just 53 seconds into the game. The play started in the Penguins zone; defenseman Kris Letang sent the puck across to Erik Karlsson as the teams changed. Karlsson fired a pass up to Malkin, who found a ton of space just inside Detroit’s blue line as Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot. Malkin left the puck for Riley Smith as he circled toward Detroit’s goal. Smith quickly found Malkin wide open, headed to the back door, and deposited the goods. Husso had no chance on the play despite pushing hard left to right, but his defense let him down.

The Detroit Red Wings would answer back. Midway through the opening frame, Alex DeBrincat would score his fourth goal in as many games. The goal followed a very efficient penalty kill by the Red Wings. J.T. Compher and Michael Rasmussen really flashed with active sticks during the kill. Just as the penalty to Klim Kostin expired, Shayne Gostisbehere sent a lead pass to Austin Czarnik, who chipped the puck past Chad Ruhwedel, immediately got skinny along the boards, and slipped a check. Right after avoiding the collision, Czarnik fired a gorgeous pass from the left-wing circle to a wide-open DeBrincat, who had been going to the net with his stick down. DeBrincat easily tapped the puck into the gaping net. Ironically, it was Detroit’s version of Malkin’s backdoor goal earlier in the period.

Late in the period, veteran forward Jeff Carter broke in alone on Husso and tried to go five-hole after opening him up with a deke, but the Red Wings netminder said no.

It felt like the Red Wings survived the opening period. It ended with the score sitting at 1-1. The shots were also fairly even at 7-6 in favor of Detroit, but it felt like the Penguins saw the majority of the scoring chances.

Second Period

Ben Chiarot opened the scoring in the second period with a shot from the left circle that found its way through traffic and past starting goalie Tristan Jarry. Dylan Larkin and Jeff Petry accounted for the assists on the goal. You could say that pairing for Detroit made up for their lack of coverage in the defensive zone on the Malkin goal.

The Red Wings would get another goal, this time from Andrew Copp. Jeff Petry held the puck in at the blue line with his backhand. He shifted to his forehand and whistled a firm wrist shot toward the Penguins’ goal, where Copp beautifully tipped it home. That would be Petry’s second helper of the game. It wasn’t long before the Detroit Red Wings struck again. This time, David Perron was Johnny on the spot in front of the net, banging home a Dylan Larkin rebound to make it 4-1 Red Wings. The goal game on the power play. It was nice to see Perron get on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Likewise, it’s nice to see a healthy Copp get off to a good start in year two with the team.

Fireworks began to go off near the end of the second period. The Penguins, clearly frustrated, tried to push around the Red Wings following a couple of whistles. Larkin tried to fight Marcus Pettersson but fell down after trying to land a big haymaker. Neither player landed a bunch after a skirmish, and as Larkin fell, the linesman made sure nothing else materialized. A whistle later, chaos again ensued. This time, Malkin took exception to Moritz Seider, and as the two fell to the ice, face-washing each other, Malkin landed on top and seemed to get the better of Seider. The best part, though, as the two players were being separated, Malkin had a stone-cold look on his face as Seider smiled at the future Hall of Famer.

Husso continued to shine in the second period. He made an excellent save on Ryan Graves, who joined the rush for the Penguins and saw a point-blank chance just five feet in front of Husso. And shortly after that, Husso made a big-time right-toe save.

Third Period

Erik Karlsson cuts into the Detroit lead at 16:23 of the third period to make it 4-2. Crosby made a nifty pass to Karlsson before his shot through an abundance of traffic found the back of the net. Husso did not see the shot through the screen in front.

For the second straight game, Copp was awarded a penalty shot. This time, he beat Kris Letang, who put an emergency hook on Copp while he was in the clear. For the second straight game, Copp was stopped on the attempt.

The Penguins again cut into Detroit’s lead with just over minutes to go in the third period. Bryan Rust tipped home a Karlsson point shot, leaving no chance for Husso. Late in the period, as the Penguins continued to apply pressure, the Detroit Red Wings caught a break as the puck bounced over Malkin’s stick at Detroit’s blue line, leading to an Andrew Copp empty-netter, making it 5-3 Detroit. The Penguins would immediately pull Jarry again, and DeBrincat made them pay, also scoring an empty-netter, his second of the night and sixth goal of the season.

The high-powered Red Wings got a pair of goals from DeBrincat and Copp. Larkin totaled three assists, and Petry added two. Chiarot and Perron each added a goal, plus Gostisbehere, Czarnik, and Rasmussen all added a helper. Husso was fantastic, making 29 saves, many of which were of the impactful variety.

Next. Patrick Kane reportedly ‘keeping an eye’ on the Detroit Red Wings. dark

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Next up for the Detroit Red Wings is a date in Ottawa with the Senators on Saturday afternoon.