Penguins Notebook: Sykora unhappy with himself

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Petr Sykora was doing some big-time finger-pointing after the Penguins' 3-0 loss to Detroit yesterday at Mellon Arena.

His aim was directly at himself.

Sykora was hard on himself for being in the penalty box for hooking Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg when Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring for Detroit with a power-play goal at 10:08 of the second period.

"I took a stupid penalty," Sykora said. "I didn't really think it was a penalty. That happens throughout the whole game.

"But they got a first goal, and it's hard to come back against them. I'm taking the blame for that. I'm not happy about that at all."

Sykora, who had scored in consecutive games and is tied for second on the team with 21 goals, thought the Penguins played a strong enough game to win, especially if they could have gotten the first goal after the game reached the midway point scoreless.

"We actually played pretty well," he said. "My stupid penalty basically put the game away, and I take the blame for that."

Almost invisible

Penguins winger Miroslav Satan, who has 14 goals but just two in his past 24 games, was on the ice for just 10 shifts for a total of 9 minutes, 37 seconds. He had no shots or any other statistics.

"No, he didn't play a lot," was all coach Michel Therrien said.

Satan, signed as a free agent last summer, played in his 1,000th NHL game Wednesday and received a silver stick from the club.

Friends, but ...

A year ago, Ty Conklin was a hero of sorts for the Penguins. He went 18-8-5 and helped carry the team while No. 1 goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was out with a high ankle sprain.

"I got to be his friend," Fleury said after losing to Conklin, who signed with Detroit during the summer. "I wish him the best, but not against us."

Conklin made 25 saves for his 10th career shutout.

"He went head to head with Fleury," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Conklin. "That had to be good for him to get the win."

Rare opportunity

The only Penguins player who had less ice time than Satan was winger Eric Godard, who logged just 2:15 over three shifts.

But Godard, who has one goal this season, almost made one of those trips off the bench count when he found himself with a breakaway in the second period after Red Wings defenseman Brett Lebda lost the puck near the left point.

"He kind of bobbled it," Godard said. "He turned and he kind of kicked it 10 feet behind him. I saw the other [defenseman] coming across, so I just wanted to try to get it over [Conklin's] shoulder."

Conklin stopped Godard's wrist shot at 12:54, less then three minutes after Datsyuk opened the scoring.

"It's frustrating when I didn't score and it's a 1-0 game," Godard said.

Slap shots

The Penguins missed a chance to even the all-time series record. They are 58-60-16 against Detroit. ... Steelers owner Dan Rooney watched from the owners' box. ... The Penguins' game Feb. 22 at Washington -- the first game against the Capitals since Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Washington winger Alex Ovechkin seemingly resolved their feud during the All-Star weekend -- has been picked up as an NBC game and will start at 12:30 p.m. ... The Penguins scratched winger Chris Minard and defenseman Philippe Boucher. ... Detroit played without forwards Tomas Holmstrom (hernia) and Johan Franzen (hand) and defenseman Derek Meech.


Shelly Anderson can be reached at shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721.


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