Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Chris Conner's penalty-shot goal in the first period proved to be the game-winner, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, at CONSOL Energy Center.
The Penguins were without captain Sidney Crosby, who has missed the last six games with a concussion, but remained three points behind the Flyers in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings.
Pittsburgh opened the scoring 3:02 into the contest on a turnover by MacDonald. After a dump in by Tyler Kennedy, the Detroit netminder went behind the cage to play the puck, but put it right onto the stick of Staal, who scored into a wide-open net.
Conner stuffed a backhander between the pads of MacDonald on a penalty shot at 11:29 to make it a 2-0 game.
Franzen's tally from the right circle with 2:32 remaining in the middle stanza got the Red Wings on the board. However, just 30 seconds later Kunitz put a rebound past McDonald from in close to give Pittsburgh a 3-1 advantage after two.
Cooke's empty netter with 1:19 left in the contest accounted for the 4-1 final.
Detroit was without forward Tomas Holmstrom (broken hand)...Jimmy Howard (bruised right knee) was serving as the Detroit backup goaltender...The Red Wings also currently have forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Modano and Dan Cleary on injured reserve and defenseman Brad Stuart (broken jaw) and goaltender Chris Osgood (sports hernia) are expected to miss the next 6-to-8 weeks...Earlier on Tuesday, the Penguins agreed to terms with center Mark Letestu on a two-year contract extension.