Penguins fall to Red Wings, 4-1

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The Penguins had a difficult time solving Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard and fell to the Red Wings, 4-1, tonight at Consol Energy Center in the teams' only meeting of the season.

It was the Penguins' first regulation loss against a Western Conference club. They are now 6-1-3 in those games.

The Penguins took a 1-0 lead with 4.5 seconds left in the first period. Evgeni Malkin raced down the right side on a two-on-one with Chris Kunitz, and Detroit's Brad Stuart defending. From the right dot, Malkin whipped a low shot past goaltender Jimmy Howard on the far side.

Brooks Orpik started the play by blocking a Red Wings shot. James Neal got the puck and sent Malkin on his way.

Malkin had been listed as a game-time decision after missing the morning skate for an undisclosed reason.

The Red Wings tied it, 1-1, at 16:01 of the second period when Pavel Datsyuk rifled a backhand shot from the slot past the right pad of Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Johan Franzen's power-play goal from the left circle gave Detroit a 2-1 lead at 5:15 of the third period. Datsyuk got the puck to Franzen after he intercepted Matt Cooke's clearing attempt.

Detroit pushed its lead to 3-1 at 15:36 of the third period when Dan Cleary scored off of a centering pass from former Penguin Chris Conner during a three-on-two rush.

Cleary added an empty-net goal with 5.9 seconds left in regulation.

The Penguins next play Friday at Ottawa.

Shelly Anderson: , 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly First Published December 13, 2011 5:00 AM


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