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Pens win in shootout

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James Neal scored in the shootout to lift the Penguins to a 5-4 win over Detroit. The Pens blew a 4-0 lead but picked up a much-needed two points in their first game without the suspended Matt Cooke. Pascal Dupuis scored twice for Pittsburgh.

Penguins 5 - Red Wings 4
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
 
Pittsburgh let a four goal lead slip away with sloppy play in the final 22 minutes of regulation, but the Pens held on to the two points as trade acquisition James Neal put one past Detroit's Joey MacDonald in the shootout for a 5-4 win over the Red Wings Monday night at Joe Louis Arena. Pascal Dupuis notched two goals and an assist for the Pens, who escaped with the road victory despite being outshot 41-25 by Detroit and losing the face off battle by a 42-24 margin.
 
Hours after learning that Matt Cooke was suspended through the first round of the playoffs for elbowing Ryan McDonagh in the head during Sunday's loss to the Rangers, the Pens (42-23-8) nearly blew another game late after building a mammoth lead.
 
Tyler Kennedy gave Pittsburgh a 4-0 advantage at 13:16 in the second period, prompting Detroit (43-21-9) to pull goalie Jimmy Howard in favor of MacDonald. Dupuis kicked off the Pens' scoring with a wraparound goal at 15:14 in the first period, and Chris Kunitz scored on a wristshot off a rebound at 19:17 in the first. Dupuis added his second goal, a shorthanded tally, at 10:51 in the second period.
 
However, the Pens surrendered four unanswered goals for a second straight game. Detroit, playing without the injured Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler, peppered Brent Johnson but couldn't beat him for most of the first two periods. But Henrik Zetterberg got the Red Wings on the board at 17:41 in the second, and Valtteri Filppula made it 4-2 after he put one past Brent Johnson 1:57 into the third period.
 
That's when the Pens, who spend more time in the box than any other club, got themselves in trouble with penalties. A Letang cross checking penalty led to a Daniel Cleary power play goal at 8:06 in the third period. Alexei Kovalev got called for holding a couple minutes later, and Detroit made the Pens pay again. Mike Modano, out for most of the year with a wrist injury tied the game on a wrister at 10:27.
 
After a scoreless five minute OT, MacDonald and Johnson traded sweet saves in the shootout -- MacDonald stuffed a Kovalev backhand attempt, and Johnson snagged a shot out of the air by Modano after the 40-year-old dashed down the ice.
 
Neal, picked up along with Matt Niskanen from the Stars for Alex Goligoski last month, ensured the Pens would leave Detroit with two points. The winger placed a wristshot past MacDonald to end the shootout. With the win, Pittsburgh holds a three point lead over Tampa Bay for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
 
Score Sheet
Goals:
PIT- Pascal Dupuis 2 (12, 13), Chris Kunitz (22), Tyler Kennedy (17); DET- Henrik Zetterberg (21), Valtteri Filppula (16), Daniel Cleary (24), Mike Modano (3)
Assists: PIT- Chris Conner, Jordan Staal 2, Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang, Ben Lovejoy, Chris Kunitz, Craig Adams; DET- Daniel Cleary, Brad Stuart 2, Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lindstrom 2, Valtteri Filppula
Special Teams: PIT- 0 of 3; DET- 2 of 4
 
In the Net
PIT:
Brent Johnson 41-45
DET: Jimmy Howard 15-19 (pulled); Joey MacDonald 10-10

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