Having regained some of their momentum since a loss last weekend, the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to keep rolling by taking advantage of a short-handed Detroit Red Wings team that's struggled at home of late.
The Penguins will seek a third consecutive win and attempt to send the Red Wings to their 12th loss in their last 14 games at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night.
Pittsburgh (22-10-1) has registered a pair of one-goal victories since having a season-high five-game win streak snapped with a 3-2 loss in Boston this past Saturday. The Penguins used Sidney Crosby's third-period goal for a 2-1 win over Columbus on Monday and held on for a 3-2 victory against New Jersey on Friday after scoring three times in the first 15 minutes.
Rookie Jayson Megna capped the run with his fourth career goal, and Chris Conner tallied his second of the season after Pascal Dupuis scored just 41 seconds into the game. Megna was in the lineup in part because of a five-game suspension to James Neal that ends after Wednesday's visit to the New York Rangers.
"After (the third goal), we didn't play the way we wanted," Megna said. "We need to play a complete game after that."
Pittsburgh will next face a Detroit team that won't have goaltender Jimmy Howard or star forward Henrik Zetterberg for the near future. Howard is expected to miss two to four weeks after spraining a knee ligament in practice Wednesday, and Zetterberg is not eligible to return from a herniated disc until Dec. 28.
Stephen Weiss was placed on injured reserve Wednesday because of an ailing groin, and the Red Wings also likely won't have Darren Helm and Danny DeKeyser for Saturday's game because of shoulder injuries.
That could hurt Detroit's chances of ending an 0-1-2 skid and earning a rare home victory. The Red Wings (15-9-9) are 2-5-6 in their last 13 games at Joe Louis and have dropped their past two, both in regulation.
Detroit suffered a pair of shootout losses during its two-game trip to Florida and Howard's replacement, Jonas Gustavsson, was outdueled in six rounds in a 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The Red Wings haven't helped him by scoring a combined four goals in their last three games.
"We've got to find a way to score a goal for our goalie," coach Mike Babcock said. "Our goalie can't shut them all out. Guys that have scored fairly easily before, their attempts look like they're tight, too. ... We've got to change that, too."
Gustavsson, 8-1-2 with a 1.93 goals-against average in 12 games this season, will likely draw another start Saturday. He's 2-3-1 with a 3.63 GAA in six career games against Pittsburgh.
Detroit is facing Pittsburgh for the first time since a 4-1 road win Dec. 13, 2011. The Penguins won 5-4 in a shootout in their most recent trip to Joe Louis on March 21, 2011.
Pittsburgh has lost eight of its last 12 in Detroit, including two matchups in the Stanley Cup finals. The teams are meeting as members of the same conference for the first time since 1980-81.
They were part of the Norris Division for seven seasons beginning in 1974-75.
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