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Red Wings postgame: Hicketts shines in second NHL game

The Detroit Red Wings broke their 10-game winning streak last week, but they quickly started a new losing streak, having lost their past three games. And with the Pittsburgh Penguins coming to Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night, it appeared that losing streak would stretch to four games.

However, thanks in part to recent call-up Joe Hicketts, the Red Wings beat the Penguins 5-2.

THE RUNDOWN

It didn’t take the Penguins long to take the lead. Jake Guentzel intercepted a Dylan Larkin drop pass and found Sidney Crosby for the 2-on-1 one-timer just 38 seconds into the game.

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The Red Wings answered late in the first period, as Darren Helm fed Niklas Kronwall in the slot for a one-timer that beat Matt Murray.

It was Kronwall’s 400th career point and 80th career goal, which is tied for fourth with Marcel Pronovost for most career goals among Red Wings defensemen.

The first period ended tied 1-1. The Penguins outattempted the Red Wings 19-15 (15-12 at 5 on 5) and were outshot 10-6 (8-5 at 5 on 5).

The teams traded scoring chances to begin the second period. Frans Nielsen broke the tie on the power play, as Martin Frk faked a slapper and made a cross-ice feed to Nielsen, who was all alone against Murray. Hicketts also picked up his first NHL point with a secondary assist.

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Just 41 seconds later, Luke Glendening tipped a Nick Jensen shot to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.

The Red Wings outattempted the Penguins 21-16 (20-16 at 5 on 5) and outshot them 10-6 (9-6 at 5 on 5) in the second period.

About six minutes into the third period, Larkin found Helm in the slot for another one-timer, extending the Red Wings’ lead to 4-1.

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With their goalie pulled, the Penguins cut the deficit to 4-2, after Kris Letang’s slapper found a hole through Jimmy Howard’s five hole.

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Glendening added an empty-net goal to secure the 5-2 win.

The Penguins outattempted the Red Wings 24-12 (18-10 at 5 on 5) and outshot them 12-6 (7-4 at 5 on 5) in the third period.

THE STATS

Thanks to 25 blocked shots, the Red Wings held the Penguins to 24 shots, six of which came in the final five minutes with the Penguins pulling their goalie for the extra attacker.

This was a solid game for the Red Wings against the defending Stanley Cup champions. The win doesn’t help their draft lottery odds, but it’ll no doubt give them some confidence.

MOTOR CITY MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Hicketts. He had two assists in his second NHL game and is now the only Red Wings player scoring at a point-per-game pace (small sample size aside). Honorable mention goes to Helm, who had a goal and two assists to lead the team.

NEXT UP

The Red Wings travel to Buffalo to take on the last-place Sabres. Puck drop is 7 p.m., and you can catch the game on Fox Sports Detroit Plus. In Detroit’s bid for Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo currently is seven points behind Detroit with one game in hand.

As always, we’ll have your pregame report on WingsNation.com Thursday afternoon.