Jussi Jokinen had luck on his side Wednesday night. The Penguins felt fortunate, too. A 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings — earned in a shootout when goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's three saves made Jokinen's Round 3 score stand — provided the Penguins a 100th regular-season win at Consol Energy Center. Nobody really cared about that, though. Making the right play again proved problematic for the Penguins, who blew a late lead that allowed the Red Wings to claim a valuable point in their quest to secure the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. “I think our (defensive)-zone play is fine,” defenseman Rob Scuderi said. “The problem has been making the right puck decisions. Sometimes you have to make the simple play, flip it out. Sometimes it's a 10-foot pass. “It's making the right decisions in big situations.” Right winger James Neal, who scored twice on the power play in the second period, wrapped a puck around the boards behind the Penguins' net late in regulation. The Penguins were ahead 3-2. The Red Wings intercepted and moved the puck to the point. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall took a shot that was deflected by center Riley Sheahan, whose goal caromed off Fleury with one minute, 15 seconds remaining. Sheahan's seventh goal helped the Red Wings stay ahead of Columbus for wild-card seeding. Detroit (38-27-15, 91 points) and Columbus (41-31-7, 89 points) each clinched playoff berths to set the Eastern field. With more regulation wins, Columbus owns a tiebreaker if the teams finish with equal point totals. The Penguins (51-24-5, 107 points) will open the playoffs with a best-of-seven series against the No. 7 seed. Facing the Red Wings would provide a rematch of the 2008 and '09 Cup Final series, which the franchises split for their respective last championships. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock sounded ready. “I thought we were better than them,” he said. “We carried the play.” Babcock also jabbed the Penguins for “always talking to the referees.” The Red Wings still rely on skilled forwards to win puck battles near the boards and around the cage. Basically, they force turnovers. Penguins players said the Red Wings forced more than the seven giveaways credited to coach Dan Bylsma's squad.
Penguins feel fortunate after win over Red Wings
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Apr 10