Photo Credit: Charles Leclaire/USA TODAY SPORTS
Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins is supposed to be fun. Win or lose, everyone gets to chirp about the time that their team beat the other in a recent Stanley Cup Finals, a close match is had, and we all go our merry way. This was not one of those nights, as the Penguins superstars continued their recent streak of rediscovering the sport and dealt Detroit a 6-3 defeat.
Perhaps the earliest sign that this game was going to go downhill was when Ben Lovejoy made a positive impact on his hockey team’s results. At the midway mark of the first period, Lovejoy put his weight into a wrister from the far-east point, and Darren Helm unintentionally played the role of Petr Mrazek’s screen, deflecting the puck into his own net. Tomas Jurco responded with his fourth of the season a few minutes later but was promptly re-countered by Matt Cullen.
The Wings regained life early in the second period when fastest boss alive Dylan Larkin sped in to pick up a loose rebound, but even that attempt at equalization was short lived. Penguins sniper Phil Kessel did what he does best, tossing a wrist shot on net at light speed to regain Pittsburgh’s lead not even 25 seconds later. Little-known prospect Scott Wilson followed up with his first of his NHL career late in the period. Kessel continued the push with his second of the night early in the third period, and while Henrik Zetterberg brought the game back within two with his twelfth of the year, Sidney Crosby ended any hopes of a rally with an empty netter in the final minute.
Why The Wings Lost
It’s hard to place it all on Petr Mrazek, and I have no intention to; but this was far from his best night in the year. Five goals against over 27 shots gives him a save percentage of 0.844 on the night; he was eventually swapped out for Jimmy Howard, who prevented the final six efforts from adding to Pittsburgh’s scoreline. Young Petr is still the team’s MVP for the year, so a night like this is water under the bridge, but they hurt to see when they happen.
Motor City MVP
Young D-Boss had a solid showing tonight, picking up the pretty goal we displayed above while being one of the team’s top possession players. He started just 43% of his shifts in the offensive zone, yet the team had 61.5% of attempted shots while he was on the ice.
See You Next Time
The Red Wings will look to bounce back from tonight’s misfortune as soon as possible, and their first opportunity will come on Saturday night. Detroit will be taking a trip up to scenic Kanata to take on the Ottawa Senators, who are hanging out with the rest of the Canadian teams at the bottom of the standings. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. See you then!