Perron’s 3rd-period hat trick lifts Red Wings past Penguins
By Dana Gauruder
DETROIT (AP) — David Perron had a hat trick in the third period and the Detroit Red Wings overcame the ejection of coach Derek Lalonde to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4 on Tuesday night.
Perron posted his ninth career three-goal game. He scored on a wrist shot early in the third, put Detroit ahead 5-4 on the power play with 3:40 left and added his 19th goal of the season 45 seconds later.
“The biggest one of my career was obviously the one in the playoffs (with St. Louis) last year, but this one was special,” said Perron, a 16-year veteran. “I’ve gotten more in my 30s than I did in my early 20s, so maybe I’ve still got a couple left.”
Lalonde was assessed a game misconduct during the second period. He profanely argued after unsuccessfully challenging Pittsburgh’s third goal on a claim of goalie interference.
“I don’t remember that happening, and we had a couple guys in St. Louis who could get pretty wound up in Craig Berube and Steve Ott,” Perron said of a coac getting tossed. “(Lalonde) doesn’t usually say too much, so I’m not sure what happened.”
Detroit squandered an early three-goal lead and won for just the fourth time in 16 games.
“After (Lalonde) got thrown out, I thought the guys came together and played hard, inspired hockey,” said associate coach Bob Boughner, who ran the bench after the ejection. “That team over there is fighting for its playoff spot and they played hard and we were able to beat them.”
Jonatan Berggren, Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Larkin also scored for Detroit. Alex Nedeljkovic, playing in his 100th game, made 35 saves.
Jason Zucker, Jake Guentzel, Jeff Carter and Josh Archibald scored for Pittsburgh, which holds the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Guentzel’s goal was his ninth in the last 12 games. Evegni Malkin added two assists, giving him 40 points in 26 career games against Detroit.
The Red Wings jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period.
Berggren snapped an 11-game streak without a goal when he scored on a power play at 11:03 of the first. Following a Pittsburgh giveaway in its own zone, Copp scored 34 seconds later. He redirected a Moritz Seider shot from the point.
Kubalik was credited with a goal when Gustav Lindstrom’s shot from the point bounced off him and past screened goaltender Casey DeSmith.
“I don’t know how to explain it. We got outplayed in that first period,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “What I did like was the response. I thought we responded the right way and climbed back into the game. It turns into a one-period game and then we didn’t get it done in the third.”
The Penguins tied it during the first nine minutes of the second period.
Zucker scored to put Pittsburgh on the board. Malkin’s shot from the slot during a 5-on-3 situation deflected off Guentzel to make it 3-2. With Pittsburgh still on a power play, Carter scored on a shot that barely crossed the goal line.
“Just have to move past it,” said DeSmith, who tied his season high for goals allowed. “Obviously, we didn’t miss the playoffs because we lost tonight. Plenty of more opportunities to come for the team and maybe for myself going forward. I just need to do better to help us get some points here.”
Lalonde’s ejection was just the third time since last season that an NHL head coach has been tossed. … Detroit F Joe Veleno snapped a 20-game streak without the point when he assisted on Berggren’s goal. … Pittsburgh was 6-0-2 in its last eight games against Detroit. … The teams play again in Detroit on April 8.
Penguins: Begin three-game homestand against Nashville on Thursday.
Red Wings: Host Carolina on Thursday.