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
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
They were part of the Norris Division for seven seasons
beginning in 1974-75.