Penguins stumble in overtime vs. Red Wings
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DETROIT — The Red Wings used to frustrate the Penguins.
Now, even the guys dressed up as the Red Wings are getting under the skin.
The Penguins were guilty of a number of undisciplined penalties — and one highly controversial one — as they fell apart in the third period against the undermanned Red Wings and then lost with less than one second remaining in overtime in a 5-4 setback at Joe Louis Arena.
Daniel Alfredsson, who scored twice, notched the game-winner for the Red Wings with 0.4 seconds remaining. His shot caromed off defenseman Rob Scuderi and past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Detroit played without injured stars Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, along with a number of other standouts.
“It's always tough here,” said Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, who scored twice in the second period. “The puck bounces everywhere. We had a good chance to win. It's not a good loss.”
A number of incidents left the Penguins in a foul mood following the game.
• With the Penguins ahead 3-2 in the third period and on the power play, forward James Neal was given a penalty for swatting a stick away. The stick, however, had been shot toward him a moment earlier.
• Neal and Jussi Jokinen were guilty of two undisciplined penalties in the second period, and Matt Niskanen's earlier penalty led to a Detroit goal that made it 2-0.
• Three of Detroit's goals, including the game-winner, were knocked in by Penguins defensemen. Scuderi twice had pucks bounce off him and into the net, and Olli Maatta also was the victim of bad luck.
• The Penguins failed to convert on a five-minute power play late in the third period and into overtime.
• Just when a shootout appeared imminent, Detroit scored with 0.4 seconds to win the game.
“It was a very frustrating night for us,” center Sidney Crosby said.
The penalty to Neal left the Penguins furious.
After center Luke Glendening lost his stick on the Penguins' power play, Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincy shot the stick in the direction of Neal, who was looking for a pass in the slot.
Neal then swept the stick toward the boards, and even though Glendening made no effort to pick it up, the Penguins winger was penalized for interference.
“I was surprised he made that call,” said Craig Adams, whose first goal in 65 games evened the score late in the third period.
The Penguins believed that, in reality, a penalty should have been called on Quincy for shooting the stick toward Neal, which isn't legal.
“He shot the stick to where Nealer was for good reason,” Crosby said. “Everyone on the bench saw that. We didn't agree with the call, obviously.”
The Penguins, though, only had themselves to blame for Detroit's first two goals.
Displaying a penchant for taking bad penalties isn't new to the Penguins, and it has been particularly evident lately. The penalties to Neal and Jokinen were born of frustration.
“Those penalties are where the game got away from us,” coach Dan Bylsma said.
Adams was unhappy that the Penguins' penalty killers allowed a goal after the Niskanen penalty, but he also said the Penguins need to eliminate the bad penalties. They were guilty of two offensive-zone penalties against the Red Wings.
“We took a couple of bad penalties, and that doesn't help,” Adams said. “Whenever it happens, it's no good. Every one of us has been guilty of that at some point this year.”
Lee Stempniak also scored for the Penguins, who came back from 2-0 and 4-3 deficits to earn a point. Given how many Red Wings were out of the lineup, the Penguins believed they should have earned two points. They had every opportunity.
“Every goal in the third period had an oddness about it,” said Bylsma, who could have been talking about the entire game.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
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