Pens vs. Red Wings: 7 Oct 2006

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

The Penguins came back to earth Saturday night. They stayed in their system, held Detroit's offense in check, and generated no offense of their own. Not only were the Pens shut out, they were out-shot 26-13, only mustering 1 shot on goal in the second period. Thursday night, the Pens didn't need to work in front of the net because the Flyers were having a bad day. The Red Wings were stronger defensively, but the Penguins didn't seem willing to get dirty. Too much passing and trying to set up the "pretty" goal. You know the Pens' offense was bad when Hasek posts a shutout, but wasn't one of the night's three stars.

Loose officiating didn't help matters. The game was sloppy all around. That didn't stop the Killer Third Period Call from victimizing the Pens again. Normally, the Killer Third Period Call involves the words "Gonchar" and "hooking", but this time, it was two referees having two different standards of goaltender interference. At one end, in the first period, the ref correctly non-called when a Pens defenseman pushed a Red Wings player into Marc-Andre Fleury. In the third, however, the other ref called it on Colby Armstrong, ignoring the obvious shove in the back.

The Pens' defense held strong, for the most part. Detroit's first goal illustrated how small mistakes can make a big difference. Johan Franzen was left uncovered in the slot for just a moment, but it was long enough for him to collect a rebound and tuck it inside the opposite post before Fleury could reach back. Kris Draper got the insurance goal late in the third, while the Pens were gambling to generate some offense.

Final score: Red Wings 2, Pens 0, Donnie Iris sightings: 1.

Stars of the game:

  1. Kris Draper (1G, GWG)
  2. Johan Franzen (1G)
  3. Marc-Andre Fleury (24/26)

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