DETROIT – It looks like Penguins coach Dan Bylsma had the right idea.
Mike Comrie scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had a goal and three assists in Pittsburgh’s 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday in the final exhibition game for each team.
After signing Comrie to a league-minimum US$500,000 free-agent contract early in September, Bylsma thought he might work well with Malkin on the same line.
“Mike is an extremely smart and intelligent offensive hockey player,” Bylsma said of the 10-year veteran. “And I just wanted to give him a chance to read off of Gino (Malkin).”
Comrie had four goals and five points in four exhibition games, while Malkin scored three times with three assists in four games.
“It seems to keep getting better and better,” Bylsma said.
Comrie, who married actress Hilary Duff this summer, said he fits well with the Penguins.
“It’s a system suited for players who make plays and try to think the game,” he said.
Chris Kunitz and Alex Goligoski each added a goal and an assist for the Penguins, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves.
Pavel Datsyuk had a goal and an assist and Mike Modano also scored for Detroit, his first in a Red Wings uniform after signing a $1.25 million free-agent contract in ealy August. Chris Osgood stopped 20 shots.
“We’ve got to play a lot better than we did tonight and we expect to do that,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Sidney Crosby and defenceman Brooks Orpik sat out for Pittsburgh. Orpik missed the game and the trip because of a groin injury.
NOTE: Detroit hired former Red Wing tough guy Aaron Downwy as a strength and conditioning coach for its American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. … The Red Wings assigned 12 players to Grand Rapids: F Joakim Andersson, F Willie Coetzee, F Corey Emmerton, D Brian Lashoff, G Thomas McCollum, F Chris Minard, F Jordan Owens, F Frances Pare, D Logan Pyett, D Brendan Smith, F Jamie Tardif and F Tomas Tatar.