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Satan appears to be in Therrien's doghouse

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Monday, Feb. 9, 2009

There appears to be a growing tension between Penguins coach Michel Therrien and right wing Miroslav Satan.

Satan played only nine minutes and 37 seconds Sunday in the Penguins' 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Mellon Arena. He played just 2:36 over three opening-period shifts.

Therrien declined to provide a specific reason for Satan's limited ice time.

"No, he didn't play a lot," Therrien said.

Satan was not available for comment.

On Wednesday morning, Therrien said Satan would not play at home that night against Tampa Bay. It was Satan's 1,000th NHL game. Therrien reversed his decision in the afternoon, and Satan was inserted into the lineup.

Satan has played fewer than 10 minutes only twice this season. He had averaged over 15 minutes in 14 contests since playing only 9:19 at the New York Rangers on Jan. 3.

Satan, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract as free agent in July, has scored only two goals since that game against the Rangers. He has 14 goals on the season but just six in his past 42 games.

Dominant defense

The Penguins do not buy a working theory the Red Wings' goalies will prevent them from defending the Stanley Cup.

Detroit's Ty Conklin, who played for the Penguins last year, stopped 25 shots yesterday for his sixth shutout on the season.

"It's nice to get shutouts," Conklin said. "That's more a reflection of how the team is playing, too."

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby seemed to second that opinion.

"He did a good job, but he's got some (defensemen) in front that can clear the front of the net, too," Crosby said.

Those Detroit defensemen, led by six-time Norris Trophy-winner Nicklas Lidstrom, limited Crosby to only one shot yesterday.

The Red Wings blocked 16 of the Penguins' 48 shot attempts.

"They're probably the best in the league at it," Penguins left wing Pascal Dupuis said. "They're good with their sticks. They intercept a lot of passes, block a lot of shots. They play good in front of their goalie.

"That's what makes them so tough to beat."

Around the boards

Forward Chris Minard and defenseman Philippe Boucher were scratched for the Penguins. Detroit was without forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Johan Franzen and defenseman Derek Meech. ... NBC will broadcast the Penguins' game on Feb. 22 at Washington. The contest will start at 12:30 p.m. ... Including the six-game 2008 Stanley Cup final, the Red Wings have shut out the Penguins in four of their past nine meetings dating to Oct. 7, 2006. ... The Penguins are 3-4-1 in their alternate blue uniforms since Jan. 1, 2008.

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