Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings Takeaways: Depth Shows Its Spark

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings Takeaways: Depth Shows Its Spark

The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled a win out against the Detroit Red Wings in their preseason tune-up.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 3-2. In their penultimate preseason game, the Penguins played all of their top players, and gave back-up goaltender, Casey DeSmith, a full 60 minutes of work. With the roster taking shape and the team getting some valuable preparation, there were a few key take aways from the game. 

The Power Play Finally Converts

After struggling with the man advantage in the first preseason games, the Penguins power play finally ignited against the Red Wings. Both the first and second units were able to convert. 

The first Penguins’ goal was a beautiful play by the power play unit. Captain, Sidney Crosby, sprung Bryan Rust with a beautiful stretch pass, Rust took the pass in stride and buried a wrist shot behind the Detroit goaltender. 

Later in the second period of their game, the Penguins second power play unit connected for the second Penguins power play goal of the night. Jason Zucker redirected a shot from Kasperi Kapanen past the Red Wing’s goaltender for the second power play goal of the game. 

Archibald Provides Depth Scoring

After losing Radim Zohorna and sending veteran Drake Cagguila down to Wilkes-Barre and the injuries to Teddy Blueger and Jeff Carter, the Penguins have questions surrounding their third and fourth lines. Despite that, there was some encouraging play from the bottom six forwards. In particular, Josh Archibald chipped in a goal and brought a feisty and physical element to the bottom of the lineup. 

Playing alongside Brock McGinn and youngster Sam Poulin, the makeshift fourth line looked solid and balanced against the Red Wings. Heading into the season, it looks certain that McGinn and Archibald will make an impact on the fourth line. 

DeSmith’s Game in Regular Season Form 

Casey DeSmith is firmly entrenched as the Penguins back up goaltender. That being said, coaching and management is looking for both goaltenders to find consistency in their game as soon as possible. 

DeSmith made an excellent step towards that goal with his performance against Detroit. Facing 39 shots, DeSmith stopped 37, many of which were quality scoring chances. He came up clutch in the final period as well, making a key save to preserve the lead late in the game. 

With starter Tristan Jarry re-establishing himself following a lower-body injury and being in the final year of his contract, DeSmith will be counted on often this season. If his performance in the preseason is any indication, back-up goaltending won’t be an issue for the Penguins this season. 

The Penguins have one more preseason game before they open their season against the Arizona Coyotes. The roster is close to being finalized for the first game as well, and this game gave coach Mike Sullivan plenty to consider when making the final roster decisions. 

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