Bertuzzi’s 4th-straight 3-point game leads Wings past Penguins
Tyler Bertuzzi has done something that no other Red Wing could accomplish. Not Gordie Howe, not Steve Yzerman, not Sergei Fedorov nor any of the Hall of Famers who have worn the winged wheel on their chests.
Bertuzzi had two goals and an assist in Detroit’s 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday night. It was his fourth consecutive three-point game –the first time a Red Wing has done that in the team’s history.
“I think I’m still a little shocked right now. I haven’t comprehended it yet, but it’s something special,” Bertuzzi said. “Like I’ve said before, I can’t thank my teammates enough, my linemates for that run.”
Yzerman managed to score three points in each of three straight games on two occasions during the 1992-93 season.
Bertuzzi had three assists in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins, a goal and two assists in a 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils this past Friday night and two goals and an assist in a 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres the previous night.
He also has a five-game point streak (5-8-13) and reached the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career with his 20th and 21st goals. He was also the NHL’s Second Star of the Week for last week.
The linemates Bertuzzi spoke of, Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin, also had big nights to stretch their scoring streaks.
Mantha scored the other two goals to tie his career high of 24. He has five goals and seven points in his past two games and a six-game point streak (5-7-12). Larkin had three assists for a six-game streak (5-6-11).
“It’s been fun playing hockey. Everyone’s going through and playing simple,” Bertuzzi said about the line’s recent play. “We’re gelling together and making simple plays. Everything’s been working well.”
Jimmy Howard made 38 saves.
“I was shocked by that, to be honest. I didn’t know that,” Howard said of Bertuzzi’s accomplishment. “Great for Bert. He’s a hard worker. It’s not flashy, but he plays with heart.”
Bertuzzi’s second goal of the game broke a tie to make it 2-1 with 9:34 left in the second period. He scored from the bottom of the left circle.
Mantha made it 3-1 with 8:39 left in the third period when he outraced Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson for Larkin’s high flip pass in the Pittsburgh zone for a partial breakaway and added an empty net goal with 2:24 left.
Bertuzzi’s power-play goal with 9:40 left in the first period gave Detroit a 1-0 lead. It originally appeared that Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray had made a spectacular glove save on Bertuzzi’s one-timer from the bottom of the right circle at an apparent wide open side of the net.
But it went to review after the next play stoppage, and the overhead replay showed the puck in Murray’s glove but completely over the goal line. The play was ruled a goal after a two-to-three-minute process.
Phil Kessel tied the game for the Penguins with 22 seconds left in the opening period when he tapped one in from the bottom of the right circle off a feed from Sidney Crosby on a 2-on-1 rush.
As expected, Detroit announced it had signed coach Jeff Blashill to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday morning.
“I think on a night-to-night basis, our team has been very, very competitive,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We’ve been involved in close to the most one-goal games in the league this year. When I look at the development of young players, as we’ve gone through this rebuild, they’ve all improved.”
… The Red Wings recalled defenseman Joe Hicketts from AHL Grand Rapids on Monday after Danny DeKeyser suffered an upper-body injury on Sunday. He did not play on Tuesday joining eight other regulars – and backup goalie Jonathan Bernier – who were out due to injuries. Kaden Fulcher, who was called up from Grand Rapids on an emergency basis, backed up Howard.