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Detroit's defence stellar in shutting down Crosby and Penguins 2-0

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Detroit's defence stellar in shutting down Crosby and Penguins 2-0

The Canadian Press
By:

Dominik Hasek had one of the easiest of his 69 career shutouts, facing only seven shots over the final two periods as last season's Presidents' Trophy winners played their second excellent defensive game in a row. The Red Wings held Vancouver to 17 shots on Thursday, but lost 3-1 in Lidstrom's first game since succeeding the retired Steve Yzerman as captain.

The Penguins, trying to win their first two games at home to start a season for the first time in 10 years, did almost nothing offensively following a 4-0 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday - their first opening-game win since 1999.

Pittsburgh was limited to one shot in the second period, by rookie Chris Thorburn, and didn't a shot in the third until 4 1/2 minutes into the period. The team record for fewest shots in a period is none, against the Sharks in the third period of a 4-1 victory on Nov. 23, 2002, and in a game is 11, on five occasions.

The Red Wings' strategy was simple: make sure no Penguins player was undefended when he had the puck and blanket Lidstrom, long acknowledged as the NHL's premier defenceman, on Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby. Crosby did not get a shot off in the first two periods and had only one in 22 minutes, 42 seconds of playing time.

Crosby did make several excellent passes that teammates could not convert into goals, with Josef Melicher missing a wide-open side of the net halfway though the third period and the Penguins pressing to tie.

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury played another strong game, following up a 40-save performance against Philadelphia by turning aside 24 of 26 shots. The former No. 1 draft pick had no chance on Franzen's goal six minutes into the game, as defenceman Rob Scuderi left Franzen undefended at the side of the net for a backhander off the rebound of Jason Williams' 45-foot shot. Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff in the offensive zone against 18-year-old Penguins rookie Jordan Staal to set up Williams' shot.

Kris Draper scored the other Red Wings goal with 1:21 remaining on a wrist shot from the right circle.

Pittsburgh had two power-play chances in the first period, but couldn't convert and were 0-for-4 overall with the man advantage, twice when the normally disciplined Red Wings were penalized for too many men on the ice.

Notes: Detroit was 0-for-2 on the power play and is 0-for-11 in two games. ... Even with the victory, Hasek's record against the Penguins - 14-16-5 - remains one of his worst against any opponent. ... Pittsburgh has lost 10 of 11 against Western Conference teams the last two seasons.

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Detroit's defence stellar in shutting down Crosby and Penguins 2-0