DETROIT (AP)—After a brief slump, the Detroit Red Wings are playing like one of the NHL’s best teams again.
Henrik Zetterberg is leading the way.
Zetterberg scored twice for the second straight game to lead Detroit to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night.
The Red Wings have three straight victories—reaching a Western Conference-high 44 points—after winning just three of their previous 10 games.
“We’re playing a little better,” Zetterberg said. “We didn’t play an ‘A’ game, but it was enough.”
“He played great,” Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby said. “He gave us a chance throughout the game.”
Otherwise, Crosby was disgusted with his team’s latest performance.
“There’s no excuse for that,” he said.
Crosby was held without a goal for the third straight game, and the rookie sensation has been limited to one goal in his last seven games. He had an assist on the Penguins’ goal.
“How can you be frustrated when you have (31) points?” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock asked.
Crosby’s hooking penalty midway through the first period led to Zetterberg’s first goal. Lidstrom’s shot was deflected in front of the net and Thomas Holmstrom touched the puck before Zetterberg’s wrist shot just trickled past Fleury.
Zetterberg’s second goal was a short-handed score set up by Kirk Maltby, who checked Sergei Gonchar in open ice. Zetterberg, who recently moved from wing to center, pounced on the loose puck and made a move before scoring his 15th on a backhander.
“Malts did a great job,” Zetterberg said. “The puck just came to me.”
Detroit’s Steve Yzerman (groin) and Robert Lang (groin) were not in the lineup, and Yzerman is expected to be out two to four weeks. … Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux missed his third straight game after experiencing a rapid heartbeat last week and being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Lemieux hopes to be back on the ice within a week. … Detroit’s Jiri Fischer said he’s grateful to be alive, and hopes to play again, in his first public comments since collapsing on the bench with cardiac arrest during a game last month. … Osgood has won four straight starts. … The Red Wings played their 1,000th regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena, their home since 1979. … Lions president Matt Millen was the target of more “Fire Mil-len!” chants and signs in the second and third periods.