The Red Wings have had a good stretch of games at the end of the season, but tonight we saw what happens when the opposition shuts down their top line. They were on a six game win streak, but it came to an end tonight at the hands of Phil Kessel and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The final score was 4-1.
- The Wings struck first again tonight. It was a power play goal and a beautiful deflection by Matt Puempel, his first as a Red Wing. Puempel has played great for the Grand Rapids Griffins over the last two years and probably deserved more of a chance with the Red Wings. It was nice seeing him bury one tonight.
— e-Nick (@nickseguin19) April 4, 2019
- The rest of the game was all Pittsburgh. Kessel struck twice and had an assist and Sidney Crosby added a goal and an assist to effectively down the Red Wings.
- Jimmy Howard came up big, turning away 43 Pittsburgh shots. It’s not the first time this season that the goalie has been the Red Wings best player.
This was more the Red Wings team that we’ve been trained to expect. Lots of shots against, not too many quality chances, and scrambling to get the puck out of their own zone. It’s safe to say that Pittsburgh turned on the jets to clinch that playoff spot, but Detroit really took a step back from the way they’ve been playing.
Tonight was also a scary look into what happens when Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Anthony Mantha get shut down. They’ve been relying on these three players a lot over their last stretch of wins and it wasn’t realistic to expect them to continue putting up three, four, five points per game. When they take a night off, the team falls apart. That’s exactly what happened tonight.