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Published: Tuesday, 4/2/2013

Red Wings hold off Avalanche

Accustomed to being without their captain, Penguins vow to keep rolling sans Crosby

ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT — Damien Brunner ended his 15-game scoring drought, and Jimmy Howard made a late save to help the Red Wings hold off the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night.

Justin Abdelkader scored late in the first period, Danny Cleary put Detroit ahead by two at 6 minutes, 28 seconds of the second and Brunner had a one-timer a few minutes later.

The Red Wings, coming off a 7-1 loss to Chicago, allowed a 3-0 lead to turn into a one-goal game.

Colorado avoided a shutout with a power-play goal at 14:08 of the third period when Jamie McGinn’s backhander from between the circles sailed over a sprawling Howard. Avalanche forward Cody McLeod checked Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith into Howard, who couldn’t get off the ice in time to get in a position to stop McGinn’s shot.

Colorado pulled goaltender Semyon Varlamov, and Matt Duchene scored with the extra skater on the ice to make it 3-2 with 1:18 left, but Howard's glove save with seven seconds left prevented PA Parenteau from sending it to overtime.

Howard finished with 22 saves for Detroit, which had lost two straight.

Penguins move on without Crosby

PITTSBURGH — The streaking Pittsburgh Penguins have lost their captain.

But that's OK, they say. Not only have the Penguins grown accustomed to playing without Sidney Crosby in recent years, they also just traded for two other team captains.

Pittsburgh went through its first practice Monday since learning that NHL scoring leader Crosby underwent surgery for a broken jaw that will keep him out indefinitely.

Winners of 15 consecutive games, two shy of the NHL record for the longest winning streak, the Penguins insist they can keep rolling without the face of their franchise.

“Obviously, it’s a huge loss, and the way Sid’s been playing has been unbelievable,” winger James Neal said. “Losing him stinks, but at the same time we’ve got some good depth on this team and that gives a chance for some guys to step up, and definitely for some new guys we just acquired to step up.”

Pittsburgh’s streak will be on the line today against Buffalo.

Crosby was still hospitalized early Monday while his team went through a lengthy and spirited practice. It was the first time Jarome Iginla practiced with Pittsburgh after he was acquired from the Calgary Flames early Thursday. He made his Penguins game debut during Saturday’s 2-0 win over the New York Islanders.

It was during Crosby’s first shift of that game that he was struck in the mouth by a puck from Brooks Orpik’s slap shot that was deflected into an unsuspecting Crosby.

Crosby had dental work performed in addition to facial surgery and the repairing of his jaw. The team also said there would be additional procedures performed this week.

In the week before Crosby was knocked out, the Penguins added former Flames captain Iginla and former Stars captain Brenden Morrow as well as eight-year veteran defenseman Douglas Murray via trade. Pittsburgh also welcomed back reigning league MVP Evgeni Malkin after he missed 13 of 16 games due to an upper body injury.

Even before Crosby went down, the Penguins learned they would be without their top two defensemen. Kris Letang is day to day with a lower body injury — he skated on his own before practice Monday — and Paul Martin is out four to six weeks after breaking an unspecified bone in his upper body. Martin had surgery Sunday.

Crosby holds a 10-point lead in the NHL scoring race with 56 points. The playoffs begin April 30.



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