Sergei Fedorov had two goals and an assist and Brendan Shanahan added a goal and two assists to lead the Red Wings to their fifth straight win, 5-1 over the Penguins, whose winless streak reached 13 games.
Fedorov struck twice early in the third period to give Detroit a 4-1 lead and reach the 30-goal mark for the ninth time. The first went in off the skate of Penguins defenseman Dick Tarnstrom.
“I did not see the goal,” Fedorov said. “I thought Chris (Chelios) scored. It’s not easy to come up with a good game plan, playing three games in four nights.”
Shanahan set up both of Fedorov’s tallies after breaking a 1-1 tie midway through the second period. Off a feed from Fedorov, Shanahan put a redirection past goaltender Johan Hedberg for his 29th of the season.
“Sergei and Brendan got us going,” Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. “Brendan driving to the net and Sergei’s power-play goal was enough. … The lucky goal (by Fedorov) discouraged them a bit. It was a game at 2-1 and they had generated chances in the first 30 minutes. That one goal discouraged the team.”
The Penguins got on the board first when Martin Straka shifted to his backhand and pushed the puck between goalie Manny Legace’s pads 8 1/2 minutes into the opening period. It was Straka’s 500th NHL point.
But it was all downhill thereafter for Pittsburgh, which is five games from matching the longest winless streak in team history.
“We still have games left,” Penguins captain Mario Lemieux said. “The players still have two weeks, they can still impress people for the future.”
Detroit has lost just once in the last 18 games (16-1-0-1) and remained two points behind Ottawa in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
“The two points are very important for us,” Fedorov said. “We played well the last 15 games.”
Hedberg made 22 saves for the Penguins, who have been outscored, 54-17, during their skid.
“Before the game even starts, you look at their lineup,” Pittsburgh winger Rico Fata said. “These guys have played well a long time. They play a team game, make blind passes, know where the other guys are. You want to learn from these guys.”