Opening game of the Detroit Red Wings two-game road trip took place last night in Pittsburgh against a Sidney Crosby-less Penguins team.
The first period was a show of goaltending wit between Marc-Andre Fleury and All-Star write-in candidate Jimmy Howard that is until with just under five seconds left in the period Evgeni Malkin would give the home team the lead.
Pittsburgh would hold onto the lead; and Malkin would have another great chance to almost give the Penguins a 2-0 lead over the Red Wings before fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk evened things up.
Brooks Orpik may want to be thanking whomever it is he thanks that it was Datsyuk with that shot; and not anyone else in the league as he could of easily made it a bit harder for Orpik to have kids if that shot was off.
Datsyuk himself had a scary moment in the game when against the boards his leg was pulled out from under him. He left the ice for awhile after that shift but did return a few minutes later after stretching.
A tie game in the third would see a penalty to Penguins Matt Niskanen for holding lead to a power play goal from Johan “Mule” Franzen to give the Red Wings their first lead in the game and the boys from Hockeytown did not look back.
In case you are out of the area and have not seen the greatness of local Detroit marketing as Hockeytown and the Motor City collide.
Ram vs. Mule
Danny Cleary would go on to make it a 3-1 game just 16 seconds after the goal by Franzen.
Cleary’s goal was set up by former Penguin Chris Conner whom is making a case for why he belongs in the Red Wings line up. Could Conner’s play signal the end of Fabian Brunnstrom as he is still waiting in the Wings. Conner being a Westland, Michigan native grew up with Livonia native Ryan Kessler and may just be taking over for former Red Wing Mike Modano as Westland’s favorite son. Hopefully Conner’s run with Detroit goes better than future hall of fame Modano’s went last season.
Former Red Wing Jason Williams was called up by the Penguins. Williams saw 10:46 of total ice time 3:03 of which was on the power play, in which Pittsburgh’s PP went 0-4 last night.
It would be an empty net goal for Danny Cleary with six seconds left in the game to make its 4-1 for the Red Wings over the Penguins to take the two points and then head off to Nashville for a game against the Predators tomorrow night.
The Red Wings currently sit second in the Central Division with 39 points in 29 games while the Chicago Blackhawks lead the division with 40 points in 30 games.
The Blackhawks play tonight against the Western Conference leading Minnesota Wild (43 points in 31 games).