Penguins-Red Wings Preview

Having regained some of their momentum since a loss last

weekend, the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to keep rolling by taking

advantage of a short-handed Detroit Red Wings team that’s struggled

at home of late.

The Penguins will seek a third consecutive win and attempt to

send the Red Wings to their 12th loss in their last 14 games at Joe

Louis Arena on Saturday night.

Pittsburgh (22-10-1) has registered a pair of one-goal victories

since having a season-high five-game win streak snapped with a 3-2

loss in Boston this past Saturday. The Penguins used Sidney

Crosby’s third-period goal for a 2-1 win over Columbus on Monday

and held on for a 3-2 victory against New Jersey on Friday after

scoring three times in the first 15 minutes.

Rookie Jayson Megna capped the run with his fourth career goal,

and Chris Conner tallied his second of the season after Pascal

Dupuis scored just 41 seconds into the game. Megna was in the

lineup in part because of a five-game suspension to James Neal that

ends after Wednesday’s visit to the New York Rangers.

“After (the third goal), we didn’t play the way we wanted,”

Megna said. “We need to play a complete game after that.”

Pittsburgh will next face a Detroit team that won’t have

goaltender Jimmy Howard or star forward Henrik Zetterberg for the

near future. Howard is expected to miss two to four weeks after

spraining a knee ligament in practice Wednesday, and Zetterberg is

not eligible to return from a herniated disc until Dec. 28.

Stephen Weiss was placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of

an ailing groin, and the Red Wings also likely won’t have Darren

Helm and Danny DeKeyser for Saturday’s game because of shoulder

injuries.

That could hurt Detroit’s chances of ending an 0-1-2 skid and

earning a rare home victory. The Red Wings (15-9-9) are 2-5-6 in

their last 13 games at Joe Louis and have dropped their past two,

both in regulation.

Detroit suffered a pair of shootout losses during its two-game

trip to Florida and Howard’s replacement, Jonas Gustavsson, was

outdueled in six rounds in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.

The Red Wings haven’t helped him by scoring a combined four

goals in their last three games.

“We’ve got to find a way to score a goal for our goalie,” coach

Mike Babcock said. “Our goalie can’t shut them all out. Guys that

have scored fairly easily before, their attempts look like they’re

tight, too. … We’ve got to change that, too.”

Gustavsson, 8-1-2 with a 1.93 goals-against average in 12 games

this season, will likely draw another start Saturday. He’s 2-3-1

with a 3.63 GAA in six career games against Pittsburgh.

Detroit is facing Pittsburgh for the first time since a 4-1 road

win Dec. 13, 2011. The Penguins won 5-4 in a shootout in their most

recent trip to Joe Louis on March 21, 2011.

Pittsburgh has lost eight of its last 12 in Detroit, including

two matchups in the Stanley Cup finals. The teams are meeting as

members of the same conference for the first time since

1980-81.

They were part of the Norris Division for seven seasons

beginning in 1974-75.