TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Penguins feel fortunate after win over Red Wings

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins celebrate James Neal's second-period goal againt the Red Wings on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins celebrate James Neal's second-period goal againt the Red Wings on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury reaches out to make a save on the Red Wings' Daniel Alfredsson during the shootout Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury reaches out to make a save on the Red Wings' Daniel Alfredsson during the shootout Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Jussi Jokinen looks back after beating Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson during the shootout Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Jussi Jokinen looks back after beating Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson during the shootout Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Red Wings' Brian Lashoff is called for holding on the Penguins' Brian Gibbons in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Red Wings' Brian Lashoff is called for holding on the Penguins' Brian Gibbons in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Sidney Crosby protects himself as the Red Wings' Riley Sheahan comes up high with the stick in the first period Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Sidney Crosby protects himself as the Red Wings' Riley Sheahan comes up high with the stick in the first period Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Kris Letang knocks the puck away from the Red Wings' Tomas Jurco in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Kris Letang knocks the puck away from the Red Wings' Tomas Jurco in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' James Neal skates up ice against the Red Wings Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' James Neal skates up ice against the Red Wings Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Red Wings' Jakub Kindl's second-period gets past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Red Wings' Jakub Kindl's second-period gets past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Red Wings' Tomas Jurco celebrates his first-period goal agianst the Penguins on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Red Wings' Tomas Jurco celebrates his first-period goal agianst the Penguins on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Kris Letang skates against the Red Wings on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Kris Letang skates against the Red Wings on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Kris Letang defends on the Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Kris Letang defends on the Red Wings' Gustav Nyquist in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader takes out the Penguins' Kris Letang in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Red Wings' Justin Abdelkader takes out the Penguins' Kris Letang in the second period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Penguins' Kris Letang defends on the Red Wings' Riley Sheahan in the first period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Penguins' Kris Letang defends on the Red Wings' Riley Sheahan in the first period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Red Wings' Tomas Tatar beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Red Wings' Tomas Tatar beats Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to tie the game in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a pad save on the Red Wings' Tomas Jurco in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a pad save on the Red Wings' Tomas Jurco in the third period Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson makes a third-period save on the Penguins' Lee Stempniak Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson makes a third-period save on the Penguins' Lee Stempniak Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins/NHL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Rob Rossi podcasts

  • Loading...
Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 10:57 p.m.
 

Jussi Jokinen had luck on his side Wednesday night.

The Penguins felt fortunate, too.

A 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings — earned in a shootout when goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's three saves made Jokinen's Round 3 score stand — provided the Penguins a 100th regular-season win at Consol Energy Center.

Nobody really cared about that, though.

Making the right play again proved problematic for the Penguins, who blew a late lead that allowed the Red Wings to claim a valuable point in their quest to secure the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

“I think our (defensive)-zone play is fine,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said. “The problem has been making the right puck decisions. Sometimes you have to make the simple play, flip it out. Sometimes it's a 10-foot pass.

“It's making the right decisions in big situations.”

Right winger James Neal, who scored twice on the power play in the second period, wrapped a puck around the boards behind the Penguins' net late in regulation. The Penguins were ahead 3-2.

The Red Wings intercepted and moved the puck to the point. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall took a shot that was deflected by center Riley Sheahan, whose goal caromed off Fleury with one minute, 15 seconds remaining.

Sheahan's seventh goal helped the Red Wings stay ahead of Columbus for wild-card seeding. Detroit (38-27-15, 91 points) and Columbus (41-31-7, 89 points) each clinched playoff berths to set the Eastern field. With more regulation wins, Columbus owns a tiebreaker if the teams finish with equal point totals.

The Penguins (51-24-5, 107 points) will open the playoffs with a best-of-seven series against the No. 7 seed.

Facing the Red Wings would provide a rematch of the 2008 and '09 Cup Final series, which the franchises split for their respective last championships.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock sounded ready.

“I thought we were better than them,” he said. “We carried the play.”

Babcock also jabbed the Penguins for “always talking to the referees.”

The Red Wings still rely on skilled forwards to win puck battles near the boards and around the cage. Basically, they force turnovers.

Penguins players said the Red Wings forced more than the seven giveaways credited to coach Dan Bylsma's squad.

That should provide the Penguins something to remember for a potential playoff series, winger Tanner Glass said.

“It's fresh in our minds,” Glass said, noting the “dangle” skills of Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk. “I like seeing a team just before the playoffs.”

Bylsma would like to see the Penguins prove as opportunistic on the power player. Neal's goals, Nos. 25 and 26, were on advantages and erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits.

The Penguins also would like to see more of what returning defenseman Kris Letang showed near the midpoint of the final period when he raced up ice near the right boards to set up a scoring chance. His shot was not controlled by Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson, and Jokinen pushed into the net a puck that provided the Penguins their only lead at 3-2.

“For him to step in and look pretty good, make good decisions with the puck, keep things simple and to look so good skating, he was really good,” Scuderi said of Letang, who had been out 10 weeks because of a stroke. “He looked like himself. He didn't miss a beat.”

After Sheahan's late goal and an overtime period, Jokinen and Fleury dominated the shootout.

Even Jokinen could not really describe his crazy score, which benefitted from an attempted poke-check by Gustavsson. The backhanded poke hit off Gustavsson for an own-goal.

“I haven't seen that before,” Jokinen said.

Fleury, who finished with 34 saves, was perfect in the shootout – including a snow-angle stop on Red Wings winger Daniel Alfredsson.

Still, Fleury conceded the Penguins cannot surrender 64 attempted shots, as they did in this victory.

“We got better as the game went on,” Fleury said. “We'll be better if we see them again, too.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Downie, Ehrhoff lead list of likely Penguins leaving in free agency
  2. Penguins bringing back defenseman Cole with 3-year extension
  3. No team did less than Penguins at NHL Draft
  4. Scouts think Penguins could regain luster with minor tinkering
  5. Penguins take winger Sprong in 2nd round, add 3 more forwards in NHL Draft
  6. Rossi: Gonchar is what Pens need
  7. Penguins notebook: GM Rutherford seeks balance at forward
  8. Penguins intend to sign Russian winger Plotnikov, target Tikhonov
  9. Johnston, assistants reflect on 2014-15 season
  10. Photo gallery: Penguins 1st-round draft choices
  11. Penguins deflect trade inquiries, decide to stand pat during NHL Draft