PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – While the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings may not see each other often, they certainly are not strangers.
Tuesday night’s matchup at CONSOL Energy Center was a battle between teams who squared off in back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009.
This time, four unanswered goals propelled the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over the Penguins.
Evgeni Malkin got the Penguins on the board in the dying seconds of the first period to put Pittsburgh up 1-0.
Malkin entered the zone on a 2-on-1 and ripped a low wrist shot off the far post and behind Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard with 4.5 seconds to play.
The Penguins were outshot 8-6 in a period that featured both clubs sticking to their own systems.
Pittsburgh came out in the second period and took control, but just could not beat Howard.
Malkin had another great chance denied after finding a loose puck near the crease and jamming it at the empty net. Howard reached back with the paddle down and stopped the puck just in front of the goal line.
Detroit tied the game with just under four minutes to play in the second period.
Pavel Datsyuk received a pass in the high slot and ripped a backhander by Marc-Andre Fleury for his ninth goal of the season.
Pittsburgh outshot the Detroit 12-5 in the period, but Howard stole the show.
In the third period, Johan Franzen scored on the power play to put Detroit ahead for good.
Pittsburgh had a chance to tie the game, but their power play could not cash in. Pittsburgh went 0-for-4 on the man advantage in the game, while Detroit went 1-for-2.
Danny Cleary also added two late goals to ice the game.
Howard continued to add to his impressive season by stopping 25 of 26 shots. Fleury allowed three goals on 24 shots.
Fleury remains one win shy of the 200-win plateau in his career. His next chance to hit that milestone could come Friday night on the road against the Ottawa Senators.