Sutter gets only goal in Penguins' 4-1 exhibition loss to Detroit

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Defenseman Adam Almquist scored two power-play goals to lead Detroit to a 4-1 exhibition victory against the Penguins Monday night at Consol Energy Center.

It was the Penguins' second preseason defeat in two days.

Brandon Sutter scored the Penguins' goal, beating Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard from inside the right dot 65 seconds into the second period.

Tomas Tatar and Pavel Datsyuk also scored for Detroit.

Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped 11 of 15 shots over the first two periods, and Eric Hartzell turned aside all four he faced in the third.

Injury updates

The Penguins had three players hurt during a 5-4 overtime loss Sunday at Columbus, and it sounds as if all three might miss at least a little time:

• Center Joe Vitale is believed to have had his nose broken during a fight with Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski late in the third period. Coach Dan Bylsma had no update on him.

• Right winger Bobby Farnham, who had a walking boot on his right foot after the game, appeared to injure his foot or ankle while throwing a hit late in the second period. Bylsma said his injury still is being evaluated.

• Defenseman Brian Dumoulin is expected to be out "maybe a week" with an unspecified injury, Bylsma said. Dumoulin was hurt when he received a hard check in the third period Sunday. Bylsma said the precise length of his absence could hinge on how Dumoulin reacts to treatments.

Controversy already

Jordan Nolan of Los Angeles sparked the first major controversy of the preseason Sunday, when he felled Phoenix defenseman Rostislav Klesla with a hit that resulted in Klesla being taken off the ice on a stretcher.

While Nolan was neither penalized at the time nor punished by the league, whether the check was clean still is being debated, with opinions breaking largely along team-affiliation lines.

Regardless, Klesla isn't the only prominent player injured by a blow delivered in a game that has no significance in the standings, as Penguins center Sidney Crosby acknowledged.

"Especially in preseason, guys are trying to earn a [roster] spot," he said. "They're going hard and for a guy who might have played a bit longer in the league, it might be easy for them to let up a bit, and that's when things happen."

Bylsma favors hybrid icing

Count Bylsma among the backers of the hybrid-icing rule with which the NHL is experimenting in preseason.

It gives linesmen the latitude to rule on whether an icing call should be made, based not on which player is the first to touch the puck after it crosses the goal line, but on whether an offensive player or a defensive one is the first to reach the end-zone faceoff dots.

The intent is to eliminate injuries -- often severe and gruesome -- caused when players slam awkwardly into the boards while trying to outrace an opponent to the puck.

Bylsma estimated that hybrid icing came into play "about five" times in the game in Columbus.

"I like it," he said. "I think it still has a chase involved. There's still pressure going back for the puck, there still were times when the forward got to the puck first and was going to get to it first.

"Now, instead of the race being to the puck and having a collision possibility and a situation along the boards, it's to the dot.

"I thought it worked well. I like it. I hope it continues here in exhibition [play] and that we see the benefit of it."

Tip-ins

Winger Matt D'Agostini, a strong candidate to play on the third line, did not participate in the morning skate or game because he wife went into labor Monday morning. ... Olli Maatta, one of the Penguins' top defense prospects, was paired with Kris Letang against the Red Wings. "He's a guy a lot of people ... say is ready for the next step," Bylsma said. "NHL-ready."

penguins

For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Dave Molinari: dmolinari@post-gazette.com and Twitter @MolinariPG.


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