-The NCAA men's basketball tournament today. It's one of the best postseasons in any level of sport. In our opinion, part of the charm of this tournament is the randomness of the matchups. Third seed Iowa State and 14th seed North Carolina Central have little if any history of note but will face each other in the first round. Could something similar work in the Stanley Cup playoffs?
-Before we dig too deep into this, let's be clear the NHL wants divisional rivalries in the early round of the playoffs. That's not going to change. Any suggestion of change is purely theoretical.
-At one time, the NHL's playoff structure was a 1 through 16 seeding process. After the NHL merged with the remnants of the WHA in the late 70s, the NHL used this format for the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons. The first round series were best of five series while the final three rounds were best of seven. After the first round, the tournament was reseeded with the lowest remaining seed facing the highest remaining seed and so on.
Via Wikipedia, here's how the 1980 playoffs looked:
-And the 1981 playoffs:
-The Penguins were low seeds each of those seasons and were eliminated in the preliminary round each time. In 1981, Mike Crombeen scored a goal in the second overtime of Game 5:
-The following season, the NHL went to a divisional format with the top four teams in each division squaring off in 1 through 4 seedings. In 1994, the league went to a conference format with 1 through 8 seedings. That format was used until the NHL realigned to the current quagmire with wildcards and so forth.
-The biggest issue with a 1 through 16 format (as well as the 1 through 8 conference format) is travel. Could you imagine how ugly the travel for that Sabres-Canucks preliminary series in 1981 was? The league went to its current format to reduce travel so clearly, a 1 through 16 format isn't on the radar.
-A 1 through 16 format would sure add a ton of intrigue to playoff races however. One of the casualties of the current format is that it has really eliminated the races you saw with the 1 through 8 format. Some nights, a win could bump you up three seeds. An idle night could drop you out of the playoff race.
-Another piece of intrigue in a 1 through 16 format is the potential for rivals meeting in the Stanley Cup final. Imagine seeing the Penguins or Flyers or the Maple Leafs and Canadiens battling for the Stanley Cup. A Stanley Cup final between the Penguins and Sharks would be some pretty entertaining hockey, but would it be as intriguing as Penguins-Capitals?
-If the NHL had a 1 through 16 format and the playoff started today, the Penguins, as a No. 6 seed, would draw the No. 11 Wild in the first round.
-Getting to more immediate concerns, by way of the invaluable ShiftChart.com, we were able to take a look at how the Matt Niskanen-Brooks Orpik defensive pairing was used against the Stars' top line Tuesday:
(Click here for a higher resolution image.)
-A lot of talk goes into how the Penguins don't stress matchups and Dan Bylsma has said as much in the past, but that's looks like a pretty determined effort to put Niskanen-Orpik up against what is decidedly the Stars' top line. Niskanen had a few hiccups, including a turnover which led to a goal by Tyler Seguin which was the Stars' only score in a 5-1 win by the Penguins.
-Keep in mind, it might be easier to matchup against a top heavy team like Dallas which gets a lot of offense from its top line. Even if the Penguins are the road team and don't get the last change before faceoffs, something similar might happen tonight considering the Red Wings are dealing with some significant injuries up front.
-Speaking of notions of the past, the Red Wings will wear their white jerseys at home while the Penguins will wear black:
-The Penguins assigned Jayson Megna to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton yesterday. The lack of playing time he has gotten at the NHL level this season, when healthy, has been confusing. As The Pensblog points out, he has scored a fair amount of goals for relatively little playing time. The only thing we can think of is that he is hardly a large (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) body or all that physical. With holes on the bottom-six wings, the team could use players with a little more six or grit in those positions. That said, he's clearly offered more in terms of producing offense than the likes of Joe Vitale, Taylor Pyatt, Craig Adams, Tanner Glass and others. Jayson Megna doesn't make or break this roster, but he has earned playing time while clearing a bar which has been set pretty low.
-Another consideration could be playing time. The team could see more benefit in his long-term development by having him play some higher-end minutes in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
-Tonight's game is in Joe Louis Arena which has some notoriously springy end boards. The Maple Leafs took advantage of them earlier this week as Morgan Rielly set up teammate Jake Gardiner with a pretty neat bank play:
-The Penguins' starters are Jussi Jokinen, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Deryk Engelland and Taylor Pyatt.
-The Red Wings' starters are Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen, David Legwand, Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincey and Jimmy Howard.
-Their scratches are Justin Abdelkader, Joakim Andersson, Dan Cleary, Pavel Datyuk, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Tomas Jurco.
19:39: Neal flings a wrister form the right half wall. Howard fights it off.
19:27: Off a give and go with Alfredsson, Franzen lifts a wrister from the right circle over the net.
19:00: Kronwall corrals a puck at the left point and chops a slapper. It hits Scuderi and hobbles him a bit.
18:30: Crosby flings a backhander from the right circle. Howard fights it off.
18:11: After the great Joe Vitale forces a turnover in Detroit's slot, he has a chance in tight but can' get a clean shot off.
18:03: Robert Bortuzzo and Vitale each have shots blocked.
17:38: Vitale chops a slapper from the right point which hits a body in front.
17:29: Tomas Tatar races up the right wing and pops a slapper. Bortuzzo chases him down and goes stick-on-puck wit his pool skimmer of a stick and blocks it.
16:29: The Penguins will get the game's first power play as Malkin was tripped up by Legwand at the penguins blue line. Malkin, Niskanen, Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Neal take the ice.
16:00: Niskanen swipes a one-timer from center point. It deflects off the end boards and is cleared down ice .
15:43: Taking a pass from Crosby, Neal grips and rips a wrister from the right circle. Howard eats it up.
15:33: Neal lifts a wrister from the right circle which is blocked.
15:26: Malkin lifts a wrister from the left circle which is blocked. The rebound hops to Crosby to the right of the cage and he whips it over the cage.
15:08: Short-handed, Cory Emmerton whips a wrister from the left wing which Fleury denies.
14:53: HUGE save. Crosby fumbles a puck at the left point and that allows Luke Glendening to create a short-handed breakaway. He goes with a backhander which Fleury kicks out.
14:40: Maatta cranks a one-timer from center point. Howard kicks it out.
14:29: The Legwand minor is killed. The Penguins were pretty aggressive with that power play.
14:18: Maatta whips a wrister from the left point which deflects over the cage.
14:06: Franzen whips a wrister on net from the right half wall. Fleury eats it up.
13:05: Franzen lifts a backhander from the slot wide of the cage.
12:39: The Red Wings strike first. Franzen coasts into the offensive zone down the slot and taps a drop pass to Alfredsson trailing off the left wing. Alfredsson takes the pass above the left circle, moves into the circle then the slot, fakes a shot then pumps a wrister by the glove hand of Fleury. What a release. The Penguins did a poor job of eliminating the space the Red Wings could work with on that play. Franzen and DeKeyser get assists. Red Wings 1-0.
11:17: The Red Wings keep pressing. Teemu Pulkkinen leaves a drop pass for Franzen in the left circle. Franzen pumps a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off. Franzen tries to bat the rebound out of the air but ends up hitting it with a high stick. Play is blown dead.
11:00: Matt Lahshoff pounds a slapper from the left point over the net.
10:12: Quincey chops a one-timer from the right point wide to the far side.
9:50: Quincey chucks a wrister from the left point. Fleury saves. Riley Sheahan is able to push the rebound on net and Fleury smothers it.
9:45: Drew Miller pumps a quick wrister from the left circle wide to the far side.
9:01: Lee Stempniak has a wrister in the left circle blocked.
8:30: Jokinen hustles out of the right wing corner and has a has a low wrister denied by Howard.
8:17: Corralling a puck at the left point, Bortuzzo winds up and fires a slapper from the half wall. Howard eats it up.
7:15: A one-timer by Brendan Smith from the right point sails well over the cage.
6:37: Vitale slams Landon Ferraro into the right wing corner of the Detroit zone.
6:08: Kuniz sneaks a pass from the right circle to the slot. Stempniak crashes in and taps it wide.
3:52: Off some give-and-go passing with Kunitz, Crosby has a one-timer from the right circle blocked.
3:43: Bertuzzi snaps off a wrister from the right circle. Fleury eats it up. A few small scrums break out but nothing happens.
3:11: Orpik chucks a wrister from the left point. Howard steers it away.
2:17: Brandon Sutter chips and chases a puck up the right wing and whips a low wrister on net. Howard fights it off.
0:30: Adams is on a line with Goc and Jokinen.
0:20: Smith chucks a wrister from the right point on net. Fleury's right leg kicks it out.
0:00: End of period. Red Wings 1, Penguins 0.
-That was a pretty brisk period. There was quite a bit of skating and relatively few stoppages.
-The Red Wings did a much better job of limiting the Penguins' time and space in the offense zone than the Penguins did to the Red wings. Just about every shot by the Penguins was contested with a body or two in front of the net. The Red Wings seemed to have an easier time getting their shots on net.
-The Penguins were fairly aggressive with their only power play and that seemed to open t hings up for the Red Wings with a few short-handed chances.
-The Penguins have an 11-8 lead in shots on net.
-The Penguins have a 20-19 lead in attempted shots.
-Neal, Crosby, Alfredsson and Franzen each lead the game with two shots.
-DeKeyser leads the game with 7:55 of ice time.
-Niskanen is right behind him with 7:54.
-The Red Wings have a 7-5 lead in faceoffs (58 percent).
-Legwand and Glendening are each 2 for 3 (67 percent).
-Sutter is 2 for 2 (100 percent).
-Scuderi and Bortuzzo each lead the game with two blocked shots.
18:18: Alfredsson has a wrister in the right circle blocked by Scuderi.
17:17: Off some hustle by Gibbons along the Detroit end boards, Gibbons and Craig Adams each have a chance in tight but can't put the puck behind Howard.
16:36: Off a feed by Tanner Glass, Niskanen strikes a one-timer from the right point. Howard eats it up.
16:13: Battling for a puck behind the Penguins' net, Niskanen drops Tatar with a hit from behind. That's two minutes for boarding. Scuderi, Orpik, Sutter and Adams take the ice.
15:52: After Adams fails to clear a puck, Alfredsson snaps off a wrister from the left circle. Fleury snags it.
15:25: The Red Wings increase their lead with a little luck. Taking a pass low to the right of the cage, Nyquist forces a pass to Franzen above the blue paint. Scuderi is on his knees after being shoved by Franzen and has his stick flat to the ice. It hits off Scuderi's stick and deflects into the cage. Oof. Nyquist gets credit for the goal. Alfredsson and Kronwall get assists. Sweden Red Wings 2-0.
14:41: The hole gets a little deeper for the Penguins as Neal is called for cross checking against Glendening. He got the stick up into the face of Glendening. A successful kill here is a must. Adams, Goc, Orpik and Scuderi take the ice.
14:05: Kronwall whacks a one-timer from center point which hits a skate in front. The Penguisn clear the rebound.
12:54: Pulkkinen hammers a one-timer from the left circle. Fleury kicks it out.
12:48: Pulkkinen chops a slapper form the left circle. Fleury fight sit off.
12:41: The Neal minor is killed. That was important for the Penguins.
12:02: Stempniak rips a wrister from the right circle. Howard eats it up.
11:17: Another penalty for the Penguins. Kunitz slammed Smith to the ice in the neutral zone away from the puck. That's a holding minor. Sutter, Adams, Scuderi and Orpik take the ice.
10:21: Off some great puck movement, Alfredsson lifts a shot from the slot. Fleury fights it off.
9:54: Things are evened up as Bertuzzi thumped Maatta to the ice away from the puck in front of the crease. That's an interference minor. There will be 37 seconds of four-on-four play.
9:30: Smith rips a wrister from the left point. Fleury fights it off.
9:23: Another penalty. Jokinen is nabbed for cross checking Sheahan to the ice along the boards. The Red Wings will have a brief four-on-three power play.
9:17: Play returns to four-on-four. It will be that way for 1:22.
8:50: Crosby and Malkin are teamed up in the four-on-four situation along with Niskanen and Maatta.
8:07: Circling around the offensive zone, Malkin tees ups a slapper from the right circle. Howard fight sit off.
7:53: The Red Wings go on a five-on-four power play for 30 seconds.
7:23: The Jokinen minor expires. Back to five on five.
5:56: A wrister by Nyquist from the left circle is wide of the cage.
5:39: Maatta tees up a slapper from the right point which deflects wide.
5:11: Off a turnover by Kunitz, Bertuzzi has a chance in tight. Fleury denies it.
4:43: The Penguins get dirty and get a goal. Taking a pass from Bortuzzo, Kunitz chucs a wrister towards the net from the right point. Stempniak has position on Kronwall in the slot and deflects the puck by Howard's right leg with his backhand. What a subtle play by Stempniak. Kunitz and Bortuzzo get assists. Sweden Red Wings 2-1.
4:26: Niskanen rockets a one-timer from the center point. Howard eats it up.
4:18: Tie game. Jokinen wins a faceoff in the Red Wings' right circle. Malkin takes the puck, swoops around the right wing corner and deals a pass to the crease. Neal can't get the initial shot on net but manages to get it back to the crease. Malkin sneaks in from behind the net and cleans up the garbage by poking the rebound by Howard's blocker. Another ugly goal. Neal gets the only assist. Penguins 2, Sweden Red Wings 2.
3:47: A backhander by Malkin from the right wing is fought off by Howard's blocker.
3:18: Another penalty. Tatar hold up Sutter behind the Detroit net and dropped him. That's two minutes for holding. Malkin, Niskanen, Neal, Crosby and Kunitz take the ice.
3:06: A one-timer by Crosby from the right half wall is snagged by Howard.
2:58: Robbery. After some great puc movement, Neal rips a wrister from point blank range in the slot. Howard does a split and fights it off. Wow.
2:12: Things get worse for the Red Wings as Ferraro chucked a puck out of play from his own zone. That's two minutes for delay of game. The Penguins will have a five on three power play for 54 seconds. The Penguins must score here.
2:09: Off an offensive zone faceoff, Malkin booms a one-timer from above the left circle. Howard fight it off.
2:02: Evgeni Malkin to the rescue. Corralling a puck at the right point, Malkin backpeddles to the high slot and cranks a wicked slapper by the glove hand of Howard was looked to be screened on the shot. Neal and Jokinen get assists. The Penguins will still have 1:50 of a five-on-four power play to work with. Malkin, Neal, Crosby, Kunitz and Niskanen take the ice. Penguins 3-2.
1:08: Neal lifts a wrister from the left circle. Howard fights it off. Kunitz can't get a clean handle on the rebound.
0:42: Neal chucks a wrister from low in the right circle. Howard smothers it. The J.V. power play takes the ice. It is composed of Goc, Jokinen, Stempniak, Maatta and Despres.
0:12: The Ferraro minor expires.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Sweden Red Wings 2.
-What and odd, disjointed period. The special teams seemed to break up any momentum for either team.
-The Penguins' skill, particularly from elements on the second line, just kind of took over the latter stages of the period.
-The biggest area of concern for the Penguins that period is that they were still giving the Red Wings few remaining skill players a ton of space to operate with.
-The Penguins have a 26-18 lead in shots on net.
-The Penguins have a 39-33 lead in attempted shots.
-DeKeyser leads the game with 16:59 of ice time.
-Niskanen leads the Penguins with 15:57.
-The Red Wings have a 20-17 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Sutter is 5 for 6 (83 percent).
-Glendening is 7 for 12 (58 percent).
-Scuderi leads the game with three blocked shots.
-Smith leads the Red Wings with two blocked shots.
19:34: A backhander by Nyquist from the right wing is kicked out by Fleury's right leg.
18:36: Off a feed by Crosby, Kunitz lifts a backhander from a bad angle on the left wing. Howard fights it off.
18:26: Stempniak chucks a wrister from the right half wall. Howard knocks it dead and smothers.
18:11: The Penguins all keeping play in the Detroit zone. Neal fires a wrister from deep on the left circle wide of the cage.
17:20: A spinning wrister from Nyquist in the right circle is kicked out by Fleury.
16:59: Adams pitch-forks a pass from his own right wing wall to spring Sutter on a breakaway. Sutter walks in from the neutral zone and goes forehand after Howard's five hole. Howard sprawls and kicks it out. Huge save.
15:48: Kunitz loses a puck in his skates in the neutral zone and is popped with a nice, clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit. Kunitz staggers to the ice. He appears fine.
15:09: Another penalty. Malkin tripped up DeKeyeser behind the Detroit goal line. DeKeyser crashes into the end boards feet-first. That's was kind of scary but thankfully DeKeyser is fine. Malkin is called for hooking. He protests but the call is legit. Sutter, Adams, Scuderi and Orpik take the ice.
15:02: Pulkkinen hammers a one-timer from the left circle. Fleury fights it off.
13:43: Off a steal by Gibbons, Sutter has two chances in tight but can't beat Howard.
13:09: Play returns to five-on-five. The Red Wings didn't offer much of a threat.
12:03: Neal rips a wrister from above the right circle to the far side. Howard's blocker punches it out.
11:26: Hustling his way off the right wing boards, Malkin has a wrister blocked. He's hooked on the play and the Penguins go on the power play again. Smith is called for hooking. Crosby, Neal, Malkin, Niskanen and Kunitz take the ice. A goal here could end this game.
11:06: Yet ANOTHER penalty. Glendening loses his stick int eh Detroit lot. Neal, shuffles it away to the left wing boards. Neal gets an interference minor. That's an odd application of that rule. We'll see 1:40 of four-on-four play.
10:01: Tie game. As the Red Wings push the puck out of their zone, Maatta collides with Scuderi at the red line and falls over. That opens up space for the Red Wings. Sheahan races up the left wing with the puck. As Scuderi hustles back and dives at Sheahan, Sheahan saucers a pass to Tatar just to the right of the crease. Tatar swipes the puck by a sprawling Fleury and into the cage. That was just an ugly play for Maatta and Scuderi. Sheahan and DeKeyser get assists. Penguins 3, Sweden Red Wings 3.
9:25: Lashoff strikes a one-timer from the right half wall wide on the near side.
9:06: Play returns to five on five.
7:43: More rotten luck. After Bortuzzo fumbles a puck behind his own net, Bertuzzi clings the puck at the cage from the left half wall. It hits off the body of Maatta and deflects into the net by Fleury's glove hand. Oof. The goal is unassisted. Sweden Red Wings, 4-3.
6:40: Bortuzzo gains the offensive zone at center point and lifts a wrister. Howard snags it.
5:43: Craig Adams scores? Okay. Sutter controls the puck behind the net, emerges to the right of the cage and taps a backhanded pass to the slot for Adams. Adams has position and chips a puck behind Howard's blocker. It's Adams' first goal in 65 games. Sutter and Gibbons had some solid work down low to help create that goal. Sutter and Gibbons get assists. Penguins 4, Sweden Red Wings 4.
4:23: Off a feed by Neal, Malkin has a chance in tight but can't get a clean shot off.
3:46: Dumb, dumb, dumb play. After battling for a puck, Legwand sticks the butt end of his stick into Malkin's midsection. Malkin doubles over in pain. Legwand gets a spearing major and a game misconduct. The Penguins will get ample time to claim the lead. Malkin remain int he bench in pain. Maatta, Niskanen, Crosby Neal and Kunitz take the ice.
2:20: Despres pumps a slapper from the right point. Howard punches it away.
1:43: Maatta drives a slapper from the right point. It hits a body in front.
1:28: Kronwall gets a big clear from behind his own net.
0:42: Malkin has a clean chance in the right circle but can't get a clean shot off.
0:08: Niskanen has a slapper from the center point blocked by Emerton.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Sweden Red Wings 4.
-The Penguins have a 39-26 lead in shots on net.
5:00: The Penguins will have 1:14 of power play time to start the period. Malkin, Crosby, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.
4:46: Malkin whacks a slapper from above the right circle wide to the far side.
4:07: Off some "hot potato" passing, Neal rockets a one-timer from the right circle. Howard knocks it dead and smothers it. The Penguins call a time out to get organized for the remainder of their power play.
3:58: A one-timer by Niskanen from above the left circle misses the mark.
3:47: The major is killed. What an effort by the Penguins.
3:39: Franzen rips a wrister from the left point wide of the cage.
3:24: Smith pounds a slapper from the right point. Fleury kicks out.
1:59: Franzen snaps off a pass from the left half wall to Alfredsson above the point. Alfredsson chops the puck wide.
1:07: Off a feed by Crosby, Kunitz chops a one-timer from the left circle. Howard boots it out.
0:55: Neal chucks a wrister from center point on net. Howard scoops it up.
0:00: What!?!? After Malkin wipes out in the offensive zone and with Scuderi pinched in really deep, the Red Wings generate a three-on-one against Maatta in the final seconds. Alfredsson lugs the puck up the right wing and chucks a wrister on net from the right circle. Fleury fights it off. The rebound hops up and deflects into Scuderi hustling back to his net. The bounces into the net just as the clock his zero. It passed over the goal line with approximately 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock. A video review confirms the goal. The goal is unassisted. Wow. End of game. Sweden Red Wings 5, Penguins 4.
-Where do you start with this wild, crazy game? There are so many layers to dig through. We'll start by simply pointing out this was one of the few opponents in the NHL the Penguins have advantage over in terms of injuries. The Penguins have been hit hard by injuries all season but the Red Wings recent rash of ill health have them short-handed to a degree which dwarfs the Penguins. In other words, this was an inferior opponent and the Penguins played down to their level.
-The Red Wings were missing $31.05 million of salary cap hits out of the lineup. The Penguins were "only" missing $15.7 million.
-Did the Penguins have some rotten luck? Absolutely. There's no other way to sum up three own goals as anything other than a freak occurrence. But they had a major in the final stages of regulation and the early part of the overtime frame. They looked lost at time with that chance. What made it inexcusable was the fact the Penguins had a four-on-three advantage for the first 1:14 of overtime. With the skill the Penguins have, they should have exploited the Red Wings only having three skaters on the ice. Instead, they struggled to even hold on to the puck and allowed the Red Wings to kill off the major and generate momentum.
-Another turning point was Brandon Sutter's breakaway early in the third period. If he scores there, its a 4-2 game for the Penguins. Give Jimmy Howard credit for coming up with a clutch save but Sutter failed to give his team a two-goal lead at a key moment.
-Rob Scuderi and Olli Maatta had a nightmare of a game. Three of Detroit's goals were own goals - two by Scuderi and one by Maatta.
-The overtime goal by Alfredsson was an own goal by Scuderi. The bounce itself was a fluke. What was the most objectionable part of the play was seeing Scuderi pinch in like he was Bobby Orr on an ill-fated rush by the Penguins. Why would the Penguins go full throttle in the final stages of overtime instead of just going for a shootout?
-A lot of fantasy hockey general managers are going to look at the box score of this game and assume Marc-Andre Fleury was to blame. Nothing could be further from reality. Maybe he could have robbed Daniel Alfredsson of the game's opening goal but generally speaking, giving a future hall-of-fame player an acre of ice to work with near the ice is a bad idea. Those types of players will bury those shots. Three of the five goals Fleury allowed were own-goals and the fourth was off a two-on-one rush in which Maatta fell into Scuderi. Fleury didn't have a prayer tonight.
-As we mentioned above, the Penguins failed to capitalize on a power play late in play. Beyond that, their power play looked flat most of the night. It wasn't a coincidence the only power play they scored on was with a two-man advantage.
-Give the Red Wings credit. They have been gutted by injuries, particularly up the middle. Things didn't get better when David Legwand was given a game misconduct. They shook off those injures and the wide open nature of the game and went right at the Penguins' superstars. They weren't intimidated.
-This game wasn't bereft of any positive for the Penguins. Getting two goals from Evgeni Malkin was a sight for sore eyes. He hasn't had nearly as much success in terms of scoring goals as he has in years past. His line with James Neal and Jussi Jokinen looked sharp.
-The new fourth line showed quite a bit of chemistry. Sutter, Brian Gibbons and Craig Adams had a solid game as a unit.
-The use of Gibbons as a penalty killer seems to have some wheels. For the second consecutive game, he helped set up Sutter for a quality short-handed scoring chance.
-We're not sure the Marcel Goc-Tanner Glass-Joe Vitale line offered nearly as much.
-Officiating certainly had an impact on the game. The officials seemed to have quick whistles most of the night.
-The Penguins led in shots on net, 43-30.
-The Penguins led in attempted shots, 65-51.
-Neal lead the game with 10 shots. Yeesh.
-Gustav Nyquist led the Red Wings with seven shots.
-Matt Niskanen led the game with 27:55 of ice time.
-Niklas Kronwall led the Red Wings with 27:05.
-The Red Wings have a 30-28 lead in faceoffs (52 percent).
-Luke Glendening was 13 for 22 (59 percent).
-Sutter was 7 for 10 (70 percent).
-Robert Bortuzzo and Scuderi each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Glendening and Brendan Smith each led the Red Wings with two blocked shots.
-Alfredsson now has 68 career points in 66 games against the Penguins. He's a hall of fame Penguin Killer.
-Chris Kunitz (273 points) moved ahead of Bob Errey (272) for 25th place on the franchise's career scoring list.