DETROIT (AP) — Andreas Athanasiou went end to end with the puck, split defenders and scored early in the third period, giving the Detroit Red Wings their first lead in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill won a challenge shortly after on a potential tying goal by the Penguins. It was negated because of goaltender interference caused by Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin pushing Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader into Jared Coreau.
Mike Green scored a power-play goal midway through the third period, giving the Red Wings a two-goal lead, and Henrik Zetterberg added another goal to give them the final cushion.
Malkin got his 18th goal of the season early in the second period and Kris Letang scored 27 seconds into the game, giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead. Letang left the game in the first period with what appeared to be an injured left knee.
Coreau made 28 saves for the Red Wings in his first start at home. Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury also stopped 28 shots.
Detroit, desperately trying to extend its postseason streak to 26 years, started the day tied for last in the Eastern Conference.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins have lost a season-high three straight, and Sidney Crosby extended his season-long goal drought to five games.
Pittsburgh scored two go-ahead goals against the Red Wings, but allowed them to match their season high in scoring.
Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Vanek scored in the second period to make it 2-all.
Matt Cullen was credited with a goal that gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead late in the second period, though it appeared to be knocked into the net by Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. Detroit’s Frans Nielsen tied it again with 54 seconds left in the third period.
NOTES: Crosby ended the game in the penalty box in what will likely be his last appearance at Joe Louis Arena, which is being replaced by a new arena for next season. Crosby had some memorable games in the storied building during the 2008 and 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. … Green has eight goals, one more than he had in 74 games during his debut season in Detroit. … The Penguins scratched F Eric Fehr and D Steve Oleksy. … The Red Wings scratched F Tomas Jurco, F Steve Ott and D Ryan Sproul.
Penguins: Host Washington on Monday night.
Red Wings: Host Montreal on Monday.