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Red Wings Game recap...1/31

By: Channing Cummins

The Red Wings took part in the Stanley Cup rematch Sunday afternoon as they took on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just like the Stanley Cup match up, the Penguins were declared the victors after defeating the Wings 2-1 in an overtime shootout. This is the fifth time the Red Wings have gone to overtime in the last nine games. Four of which went to shootouts and the Wings only managed to win one out of the five overtimes.

The first period, along with most of the game, belonged to the Penguins. Although the Pens failed to score in the first, they held the momentum through out the whole period. The Red Wings came out with fire and passion but most of the play was in their zone. The Pens brought rush after rush and forced the Detroit defense to make plays. It was Jimmy Howard that took the responsibility and carried his team through the period and the game. In fact, Howard stopped 16 shots in the first, compared to the Wings who totaled only five.

As the two teams began the second period it was clear that the same pace would be continued. The Pens came out on a mission to score goals after they were denied in the first. The Pens continued to shoot and Howard continued to make saves. It was clear that the Wings could not find any sort of rhythm through the first two periods.

The Pens were able to add a tally with just over three minutes remaining in the second. Crosby was able to go one on one with Howard after receiving a cross ice pass from Goligoski. Crosby scored his 34th goal of the season, which puts him at third in the league with goals, only trailing Marleau by three and Ovechkin by one. The Penguins would finish the period out shooting the Wings 13-5.

The third period brought more pressure from the Penguins, but the Red Wings were able to get a little momentum of their own. An early power play allowed them to get in sync and it brought some life to the bench. As the two teams put up more and more shots, the two goalies kept denying the shooters.

Finally with just over eight minutes remaining in
the period, Dan Cleary was able to tip one pass Marc-Andre Fleury. After the team was able to get puck movement, Brad Stuart was able to launch a shot from the point and Cleary just was able to get a piece of it. This goal provided what the Wings needed to bring the game into overtime. Once again the Penguins were able to out shoot the Wings in the period, this time the count was 16-10.

Overtime brought a little excitement for the fans. Sergei Gonchar took an ill advised penalty in the overtime period with less than two minutes remaining. This gave the Wings a chance to win but they were unable to step up, which led to a shoot out.

The first round shooters were Kris Letang for the Pens and Pavel Datsyuk for the Wings. Letang was denied by Howard and Datsyuk missed the net as he went to his backhand. The second round began with Sidney Crosby taking the ice. Unlike his teammate, Crosby was able to net the first goal of the shootout. The Wings then sent Jason Williams to the ice, who is now playing his second game since his injury. Williams was denied by Fleury and put in the Wings in a 1-0 deficit after two rounds. Evgeni Malkin was sent to ice in the third round as the Penguins tried to wrap up the win. That is exactly what they were able to do as Malkin beat Howard.

The story of the game for the Wings was definitely the performance of Jimmy Howard. Howard only allowed one goal on 47 shots and was the reason the Wings even had a chance. Defensive turnovers forced him to step his game up, which he proved was not a problem for him. The Red Wings were only able to put 24 shots on net for the game. The Wings should feel somewhat happy after leaving Pittsburgh with a point after another poor performance.

With their one point the Red Wings remain in a tie with the Flames for the 8th spot in the Western Conference. They also remain withing striking distance of the couple teams ahead of them which should help provide some spark in the near future.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip Tuesday night, as they take on the San Jose Sharks in game two of their five game trip. This will prove to be a key game if they plan on going home with a reasonable record on their trip.


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