The Pittsburgh Penguins played a conservative, steady first period before bombarding the Detroit Red Wings. The Penguins scored two goals in the first, but then eight markers over the next two periods. Evgeni Malkin netted a hat trick, Rickard Rakell scored his first goal as a Penguin, and the Penguins cruised to an 11-2 win at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday.
Tristan Jarry, who was pulled for several minutes after giving up four goals in about 30 minutes on Friday, returned to the net. He was stellar, especially in the first period, until the Penguins put away the crumbling Red Wings in the second period.
Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins lineup after missing Friday’s flatline against the New York Rangers due to a non-Covid illness. He was a game-time decision. Lucky for the Penguins, he was a go.
In the final minutes, the crowd chanted, “we want 12!”
It was that kind of day.
In the first period, Detroit outshot the Penguins 14-8, which accurately represented the cautious first period. However, the Penguins led 2-0.
Four minutes into the game, the Penguins low game, and Kasperi Kapanen clicked. Off the wall, Jeff Carter fed Kapanen cutting (11) across the slot. To quote Mike Lange, Kapanen put on the ritz with a hard stop and deke around Detroit goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.
The Penguins had several drive-by chances in the remainder of the first period, but the next goal was brute force. Later in the period, fourth-line winger Brian Boyle took the puck in the defensive zone with a crushing open-ice hit. Boyle sprung Radim Zohorna and Teddy Blueger on a two-on-one.
Zohorna dished sauce to Blueger (9), who snapped a hard wrister past Nedeljkovic.
In the words of Pittsburgh Penguins PA announcer Ryan Mill, but wait, there’s more. The Penguins scored four times in the first half of the second period, and the teams combined for seven goals.
In the first two minutes of the second period, the Penguins scored a power-play goal against the 31st ranked PK in the league. Sidney Crosby won an offensive zone faceoff, and Evgeni Malkin (14) blasted a shot from the point, which hit at least one Red Wings stick before fluttering into the net.
Leading 3-0, the Penguins tried to give back before taking more.
Exactly 90 later, Boyle earned a holding call, but Blueger and big Jeff Carter flew the zone for a two-on-one. Carter (16) finished the shorthanded rush with a blocker-side wrister.
Calvin Pickard replaced Nedeljkovic in the Detroit net but it made no difference. Early in the third period, Pickard was injured when he and Bryan Rust tangled, and Nedeljkovc returned to the net.
The Penguins didn’t let any moss grow on their lead in the second period.
Two minutes after claiming a 4-0 lead, Bryan Rust buried the Penguins’ second power-play goal of the period. After precise puck movement around the zone, Sidney Crosby whizzed a pass through the slot to Rust (22), who one-timed it into the net.
The Penguins onslaught concluded eight minutes into the second. Evgeni Malkin (15) scored a postcard goal when he danced around two Red Wings and snapped a wrist shot from the hash marks.
Detroit did score a couple of goals later in the second period, and the game teetered on competitive for a moment.
Midway through the second, Detroit Red Wings center Dylan Larkin (28) converted a 5v3 near the net. Later in the second period, Jacob Vrana picked the puck from Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson in the Penguins’ zone and quickly put it behind Jarry.
However, Detroit pulled to within four for only 77 seconds.
In the final minute of the second, the Penguins’ top-line hit full speed on a three-wide rush. Evan Rodrigues laid a perfect pass for Crosby in the left-wing circle. Crosby (23) popped it into the yawning cage, and the Penguins scored the long-forgotten chili goal.
Chili! Chili! Chili!
Pittsburgh Penguins, 8, 9, and 10.
The Penguins scored their eighth and ninth goals in the third period, including Evgeni Malkin completing the hat trick.
Early in the third period, the Penguins simply laid waste to the Red Wings. If this were a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it. Instead, the Penguins just kept attacking.
Two minutes into the period, Danton Heinen (14) rifled a wrister from the RW dot. It was the Penguins third PP goal, and I’m officially out of slang to describe a good wrist shot. It was also the second game in a row that the Penguins second PP unit scored.
A few minutes after Heinen scored the eighth Penguins goal, Malkin netted the hatty. From the top of the zone, Malkin (16) blew it past Nedeljkovic.
And then two minutes after Malkin brought the rain of hats, Brian Boyle (8) backhanded a rebound past Nedeljkovic, too.
That was 10. The dogs were sated, and the Pittsburgh Penguins failed to score on a four-minute power play in the middle of the third period.
Jarry stopped 36 of 38. Nedeljkovic stopped 15 of 21. Pickard made nine saves on 13 shots.
Sidney Crosby had three points (1-2-3) which vaulted him into a tie, 23rd all-time, with Luc Robitaille on the NHL All-Time scoring list (1394). Bryan Rust (0-3-3) and Kris Letang (0-3-3) also had three points. Malkin had four (3-1-4), as did Teddy Blueger Teddy Blueger (1-3-3).
Rickard Rakell scored a late third period goal (17), for his first as a Pittsburgh Penguins winger. He also scored three points (1-2-3). Marcus Petterson and Brian Dumoulin were the only Penguins to not register a point.