The Red Wings second group got a huge win at home to make it another show of success. Dylan Larkin and Teemu Pulkkinen scored a pair of goals each to beat the Penguins 6-1 at Joe Louis Arena Thursday night.
Detroit got to enjoy hosting their opponents for a second time after opening preseason hockey at the Joe with a hat trick from Tomas Tatar. Now that they begin the preseason at home with a victory, the Red Wings get set up to take on their Eastern Conference rivals for the first of two meetings.
The Penguins are 2-0 so far as they earned a win on the road against Columbus before going home and dominating the Carolina Hurricanes 7-3 with Phil Kessel scoring a pair of goals. With their show of strength, Pittsburgh would have to play Detroit’s strong B squad if they wished to be 3-0 by the end of the night.
The Red Wings conducted the start of the game with Larkin making his mark early against Penguins goalie Matthew Murray. They took five shots in the first nine minutes but couldn’t break one into the net just yet. Pittsburgh recorded their opening shot just before the midway point of the period shooting at Jimmy Howard. They got just got two shots near the net but it wasn’t enough to make the dent in the strength of Detroit’s skating.
With seven minutes left, the Red Wings first line got the puck rolling with a three man play that ended with Brendan Smith delivering the puck to Tyler Bertuzzi who scored his first of the preseason with a snap shot. To make things better for Detroit, they gained a power play but just one minute in, Pittsburgh made it a two-man advantage for the Red Wings. Detroit’s special teams came out guns blazing with Dylan Larkin scoring a big shot on Murray to give his team a 2-0 lead.
Pulkkinen got on the board as well scoring an open shot where he sent the puck over the shoulder of the goaltender before watching the puck get in for his first. Time ran out in the first period with Detroit looking well through 20 minutes of play shooting 15 on the Penguins net.
Detroit didn’t do much at the start of the second period, giving the Penguins a chance to get their offense running. They began to take shots on Howard but couldn’t break onto the board. The Red Wings were giving their other pair of lines time on ice but the defense of Pittsburgh improved making it a little bit harder.
Time continued to fall off the clock with the Penguins still looking for their first goal. Howard wasn’t giving them any of it as he stood like a brick fence against. It gave the Red Wings some movement with the puck where in the last three minutes; Drew Miller fired a shot that rung into the net making it their fourth unanswered on Murray. Although they were outscored through the second, Detroit still had twenty minutes of hockey left to play and a four-goal margin in their favor.
The third opened with the Red Wings more than ready to get more pucks to the net. Pulkkinen was first to respond on that priority. He fired a snap shot from the short side of the ice gaining his second of the night just 68 seconds in. Larkin almost had his second of the night but it was waved off by referee Dan O’Halloran citing that Bertuzzi was in the crease when the puck went into the net.
The waved off goal didn’t matter as the Red Wings were in a comfortable position still looking for the shutout. Pittsburgh put it into hear getting more scoring chances on Howard. With 9:16 left in the third, Gardena California native Beau Bennett got the Penguins on the board on an even strength play where the 23 year old gained the rebound and shot it into a partial open net.
Despite his best intentions, the rest of the team couldn’t bring themselves to pull off the same feat as Bennett all while the clock was winding down to its end. The game went into the books as the Red Wings allowed no further offense to dredge out. Before time ran out, Larkin got his second goal of the game, shooting the puck away from Murray to make it 6-1. The horn came to sound Detroit’s big win for a second time.
Detroit gets to enjoy another game at the Joe when they host the Boston Bruins for a two game home and home series to get started Saturday.