Red Wings Vs. Penguins: Minus Crosby, Pens Keep Winning

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Red Wings Vs. Penguins: Pens Win Third Straight Against Depleted Red Wings

Sports Network | January 18, 2011

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Chris Conner’s penalty-shot goal in the first period proved to be the game-winner, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, at CONSOL Energy Center.

Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cooke also tallied for Pittsburgh, which has won three straight games. Marc-Andre Fleury was solid between the pipes, turning aside 36-of-37 shots.

The Penguins were without captain Sidney Crosby, who has missed the last six games with a concussion, but remained three points behind the Flyers in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.

Johan Franzen accounted for the lone goal for the Red Wings, who have dropped three of four. Joey MacDonald made 25 saves in defeat.

Pittsburgh opened the scoring 3:02 into the contest on a turnover by MacDonald. After a dump in by Tyler Kennedy, the Detroit netminder went behind the cage to play the puck, but put it right onto the stick of Staal, who scored into a wide-open net.

Conner stuffed a backhander between the pads of MacDonald on a penalty shot at 11:29 to make it a 2-0 game.

Franzen’s tally from the right circle with 2:32 remaining in the middle stanza got the Red Wings on the board. However, just 30 seconds later Kunitz put a rebound past McDonald from in close to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 advantage after two.

Cooke’s empty netter with 1:19 left in the contest accounted for the 4-1 final.

Detroit was without forward Tomas Holmstrom (broken hand)…Jimmy Howard (bruised right knee) was serving as the Detroit backup goaltender…The Red Wings also currently have forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Modano and Dan Cleary on injured reserve and defenseman Brad Stuart (broken jaw) and goaltender Chris Osgood (sports hernia) are expected to miss the next 6-to-8 weeks…Earlier on Tuesday, the Penguins agreed to terms with center Mark Letestu on a two-year contract extension.

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Red Wings Vs. Penguins: Red Wings Hobble To Pittsburgh

The Pens face off against the Detroit Red Wings, their opponents in Stanley Cup matchups in 2008 and 2009, Tuesday night at 7:00 at Consol Energy Center. The Penguins will again be without Sidney Crosby, and they've struggled to score without him, but that's been less the case in their last two games, when they scored five and three goals, respectively, in wins over the Canadiens and Bruins. They'll also get a bit of a break tonight, in that Red Wings goalies Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood will both be on the shelf.

Actually, the Red Wings have an injury list that's about a mile long, with Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, Danny Cleary, Brad Stuart and Mike Modano unavailable in addition to Howard and Osgood. So this isn't exactly a playoff-quality matchup.

The Red Wings defeated the Avalanche last Monday before splitting consecutive games at home and on the road against against the Blue Jackets.

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