Detroit keeps Penguins from clinching
By Paul Harris
The Associated Press
DETROIT — The Pittsburgh Penguins came up empty when they tried to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday night.
Tyler Bertuzzi led the way for the Detroit Red Wings once again.
Bertuzzi had two goals and an assist, and Detroit beat Pittsburgh 4-1 for its sixth consecutive victory.
The 24-year-old Bertuzzi became the first player in franchise history with four consecutive three-point games. He has five goals and eight assists during a five-game point streak.
“I think I’m still a little shocked right now. I haven’t comprehended it yet but it’s something special,” Bertuzzi said. “Like I’ve said before, I can’t thank my teammates enough, my linemates for that run.”
Detroit (32-38-10) also got two goals from Anthony Mantha, who has five goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak. Dylan Larkin had three assists, and Jimmy Howard made 38 saves.
The Red Wings also announced a two-year contract extension for coach Jeff Blashill on Tuesday morning. This was the final season of Blashill’s four-year deal.
Phil Kessel scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray stopped 22 shots.
“We have to have a short memory,” Murray said. “This game is over and now we’ve got to get a win and get ourselves locked into the postseason.”
The Penguins (43-26-11) are third in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the New York Islanders and two points ahead of Carolina. They have two games left on the schedule.
Bertuzzi’s second goal put Detroit ahead to stay with 9:34 left in the second period. He beat Murray from the bottom of the left circle for his 21st of the season.
Mantha made it 3-1 with 8:39 left in the third when he outraced Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson for Larkin’s high flip pass in the Pittsburgh zone for a partial breakaway. He added an empty-netter with 2:24 left to tie his career high of 24 goals.
Detroit jumped in front on an unusual goal with 9:40 left in the first.
It originally appeared that Murray had made a spectacular glove save on Bertuzzi’s one-timer from the bottom of the right circle at an apparent wide-open side of the net.
But it went to review, after the next play stoppage, and the overhead replay showed the puck in Murray’s glove but completely over the goal line. The play was ruled a goal after a two-to-three minute process.
Kessel tied the game with 22 seconds left in the opening period when he tapped one in from the bottom of the right circle off a feed from Sidney Crosby on a 2-on-1 rush. It was Kessel’s 25th goal.
Game notes: Among the players who remain out for Pittsburgh are C Evgeni Malkin (upper body), who missed his eighth game, and D Kris Letang (upper body), who sat out his fourth game. … Detroit recalled D Joe Hicketts from AHL Grand Rapids on Monday after D Danny DeKeyser suffered a lower-body injury in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins.
The Penguins and Red Wings play again on Thursday in Pittsburgh.