DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams each had a goal and an assist, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 pre-season win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday in a matchup of the last two Stanley Cup champions.
Johan Franzen and Ville Leino also scored and Brian Rafalski assisted on all four goals for Detroit, which scored times on the power play. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.
“Maybe that’s what we needed. Some fun against a great rival,” Kris Draper said. “It seemed to bring out the best in a lot of guys.”
Howard, who is Chris Osgood’s backup, certainly needed a good game.
“I felt good all camp, just wasn’t getting results in the win column,” Howard said. “Just continue to battle and figured the tide was going to turn here sooner or later.”
Detroit coach Mike Babcock praised his effort.
“I thought Howard did a real good job,” he said. “He made real good saves early and gave us an opportunity to get ourselves going.”
Pascal Dupuis scored for Pittsburgh (1-4-1) and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 shots.
There were several scrums between the teams that met in the last two Stanley Cup finals.
Pittsburgh’s Bill Guerin got a 10-minute misconduct after he and teammate Kris Kunitz jumped Franzen after he had been shoving with the Penguins’ Kris Letang 9:59 into the third period.
“Just things that happen during a game,” Guerin said. “Just sticking up for a teammate. That’s the way it goes.” Kunitz got a roughing penalty and Franzen received minors for cross checking and high sticking, giving Pittsburgh a power play.
“There’s a rivalry here all the time. It made for some tough hockey,” the Penguins’ Jordan Staal said.
Neither Penguins captain Sidney Crosby nor Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom played. There has been controversy between the two teams over Crosby’s failure to shake the hand of Lidstrom and a few other Detroit (3-4-1) players after Game 7 of the finals in June, which Pittsburgh won 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit scored twice in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.
Datsyuk put Detroit up 2-1 4:05 into the middle period on a wrist shot from the high slot that beat Fleury high on the stick side. Williams added a power-play goal with 4:15 left in the second when he put in a loose puck from the slot.
Leino had a power-play goal with 5:14 left.
The game was tied at 1 after the first period.
Dupuis opened the scoring just 1:42 into the game when his shot from the bottom of the right circle deflected in off the leg of Detroit defenceman Derek Meech. Franzen tied it for the Red Wings at 6:09 with a power-play goal. He wove his way from along the right wing boards to the high slot, where he beat Fleury with a high wrist shot for Franzen’s fourth goal of the pre-season.
Howard stopped Staal on a penalty shot just 16 seconds earlier. Staal was awarded the opportunity when he was impeded from behind by Detroit defenceman Andy Delmore on a short-handed breakaway. Staal took a wrist shot that Howard knocked away.
Notes: The Red Wings took off for Sweden after the game where they will play an exhibition game Wednesday and then open the regular season with games in Stockholm against the St. Louis Blues on Friday and Saturday. … Detroit cut 13 players from its pre-season roster. They are RW Jeremy Williams, D Doug Janik, G Thomas McCollum, C Kris Newbury, RW Jan Mursak LW Johan Ryno, LW Mattias Ritola, Delmore, RW Frances Pare, D Logan Pyett, D Jakub Lindl, LW Evan McGrath and LW Brad May. All but May were assigned to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids. May will get an AHL tryout with Grand Rapids.