The Pittsburgh Penguins were no match for goaltender Jimmy Howard and Detroit as the Red Wings cruised to a 4-1 road victory on Tuesday.
Howard, who has allowed more than two goals just once in his past eight games, made 25 saves and the streaking Red Wings skated to their third win in a row. They have also won 10 of their last 12 games.
“Tonight was a good one for our team,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters. “I thought [Pavel Datsyuk] was dominant down the stretch and that’s what he tends to do in the bigger moments.”
The game got off to a bad start for Howard when he was beaten by Evgeni Malkin for the game’s opening goal toward the end of the first period.
However, it was all Detroit (19-9-1) from there.
Datsyuk tied the score in the second period and then added an assist when Johan Franzen put the Wings ahead early in the third with his 14th goal of the season.
Danny Cleary sealed the game with two goals in the final five minutes.
“They were very patient and both teams didn’t make many mistakes,” Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “We just couldn’t get a dirty goal to go in.”
The Penguins (17-10-4) were playing their third game without captain Sidney Crosby, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms that originally sidelined him for 10 months.
The Red Wings pulled within a point of Chicago in the Central Division, while Pittsburgh fell three points behind Philadelphia in the Atlantic.
BRUINS 3, KINGS 0
In Boston, Brad Marchand scored twice, while Tuukka Rask earned his first shutout of the season, leading Boston over Los Angeles in the Kings’ first game under interim coach John Stevens.
Rask, the backup for Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas, made 41 saves to extend his shutout streak to 95 minutes, 10 seconds.
Rich Peverley also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who won for the 16th time in 19 games.
Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots for the Kings, who lost their fifth consecutive game.
Los Angeles fired Terry Murray on Monday and replaced him with his assistant.
In other games, it was:
‧ Flyers 5, Capitals 1
‧ Stars 1, Rangers 0
‧ Senators 3, Sabres 2, OT
‧ Maple Leafs 2, Hurricanes 1, OT
‧ Blue Jackets 2, Canucks 1, SO
‧ Devils 3, Panthers 2, SO
‧ Canadiens 5, Islanders 3
‧ Predators 2, Flames 1
‧ Jets 2, Wild 1
‧ Avalanche 4, Sharks 3, SO