What started off pretty well for the Penguins ended pretty bad for them as they fell to the Red Wings 4-1 at CONSOL. It wasn’t a bad game by the Penguins but it just wasn’t good enough as the Red Wings just waited for their opportunity and pounced on the Penguins.
The Penguins dominated for a great part of the first two periods of play as they held the Wings to only 13 shots on goal and frustrated them by clogging up the neutral zone and limiting their chances. It only lasted a little while as the Wings took the final lead of the game on a power play goal from Johan Franzen five minutes into the third and then it was put away by a good two on one from Daniel Clearly with under five minutes left. Just not good times.
The Penguins had some chances but rather than putting the puck into the net they were hitting the iron. Evgeni Malkin was the best Penguin on the ice tonight and he registered nine shots on goal and scored the Penguins first goal with just over four seconds left in the first period. After missing the morning skate we didn’t know if he was going to play tonight but it was obvious that he was fine as he was all over the ice tonight. Really great display from Geno and when I talk about the pipes that were hit he accounted for two of those. With the score 2-1 he came down the right wing and clanged one off the far post which could have given the Penguins a ton of life. He also had a chance to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead on the power play but as the puck trickled by Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard and hit the far post and stayed out of the net. Just frustrating.
The Wings were really good tonight though and you can’t take that away from them. Pavel Datsyuk was really good tonight and scored a pretty sick backhander to tie the game at one off a turnover and then assisted on the power play goal to give the Wings the lead for good as he blocked a Matt Cooke clearing pass and got the puck to Franzen.
The Wings then continued their game and just didn’t the Penguins much of a chance. The Pens had a few power plays where they looked really good but Jimmy Howard was up to the task and so was the Red Wings defense. Just frustrating. That being said it is only December and there is a lot of season to go. The Penguins have struggled recently and could really use a few game winning streak to get things back on track. They are still in good shape with the great start they had so I am not overly worried.
The final thing I will talk about is ROOT Sports. During the baseball season I wasn’t a huge fan of everything they did but I understood all of it from their standpoint. During hockey season they haven’t been very good, missing face offs and having the camera leave the puck to watch players on the bench and miss scoring chances. It isn’t good but I don’t really complain much. Tonight they missed a goal. Nobody who was watching ROOT got to see the Franzen goal because ROOT decided to go to commercial instead of sticking with the live play. It was pretty embarrassing. What made it worse was pretending like it didn’t happen and not apologizing or even acknowledging the mistake. Acknowledging it and making a brief statement would have went a long way because mistakes do happen. Just not sure how you run a live event and let that happen. Whatever.
Penguins are back on the ice Friday against the Senators. Hopefully they can get back on the winning track.