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Crosby leads shorthanded Penguins past Wings

The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings have been dealing with a slew of injuries, but the Penguins keep winning.

Center Sidney Crosby, the NHL points leader, scored twice, center Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists and Pittsburgh beat Detroit 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night.

Malkin, who got his 600th career point earlier in the game, was helped off the ice early in the third period after going into the end boards backward as he thwarted a scoring chance by Detroit center Luke Glendening. Malkin got a holding penalty on the play.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Malkin had a lower-body injury and will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

That was after defenseman Kris Letang was a late scratch for the game with an upper-body injury. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated Sunday as well.

Letang's loss meant Pittsburgh was without its top four defensemen. Brooks Orpik missed a third game with a concussion and Paul Martin (broken tibia) and Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) are both on long-term injured reserve.

"Just tried hard to work through it tonight. ... Losing Kris before the game was tough," Crosby said. "We stuck with it and found a way."

Defenseman Olli Maata also scored for Pittsburgh, which has won eight of its last nine, and Jussi Jokinen had two assists. Goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, a Detroit native, made 28 saves.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall scored the Red Wings' lone goal. Detroit is 1-3-2 in its last six. Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson stopped 21 shots.

The Red Wings also lost another player.

Left winger Justin Abdelkader had to be helped to the dressing room with 30 seconds left in the first period after Penguins defenseman Dan Engelland hit him in the head with his shoulder.

Abdelkader did not return to the game and will have to go through the league's protocol for possible concussions.

Engelland received a five-minute match penalty, which includes an automatic game misconduct.

"He dumps it in and I try to finish my check," Engelland said. "Obviously I'm not trying to hit him in the head or anything like that, but I think I catch his chin a little bit before his body. Hopefully he's all right -- no intentions there to hurt anyone."

He also said he expects to hear from league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

"It's something the league will have to look at. We have a lot of guys out and we didn't have to lose Abby," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "He's (Abdelkader) a heavy body for us, plays well for us and gives us pace. That hurt us for sure."

The Red Wings were already without center and captain Henrik Zetterberg (herniated disk), starting goalie Jimmy Howard (sprained MCL), center Darren Helm (shoulder), center Stephen Weiss (Groin) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder).

Pittsburgh led 2-1 after the first period.

Kronwall opened the scoring 6:09 into the game, when his bouncing shot from the point went off the shaft of Crosby's stick.

But the Penguins took the lead by the end of the period with two power-play goals.

Crosby, who has points in 10 of his last 11 games, put in a loose puck in the crease at 9:08 with Detroit right winger Todd Bertuzzi in the penalty box for hooking. Malkin gave Pittsburgh the lead when he fired in a loose puck from the slot with 7:10 remaining in the opening period, for his ninth goal, with Kronwall off for hooking.

The Penguins killed off the five-minute power-play from Engelland's match penalty late in the first period and early in the second.

"We started well on the power play and then were able to shut them down on the five-minute power play," Crosby said. "That was an important part of the game."

Maata gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead with 47 seconds left in the second period as his shot from along the boards trickled into the net. It was Maata's second goal and one of only four Pittsburgh shots for the period. Detroit had 14 shots in the second and held a 26-13 shot advantage after two periods.

Crosby got his second goal of the game, and 18th of the season, with 5:27 left.

NOTES: It was the first time Pittsburgh and Detroit played since Dec. 13, 2011. ... Penguins LW James Neal sat out the second game of his five-game suspension for kneeing Boston Bruins RW Brad Marchand. ... Red Wings C Henrik Zetterberg, the team captain who is out because of a herniated disk, skated Saturday morning for the first time since his last game, which was Dec. 1. ... Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma is from Grand Haven, Mich., and Penguins RW Chris Conner is from the Detroit suburb of Westland and played at Michigan Tech.
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