Wings have NHL’s best PK, Pens best PP — and they clash tonight in Detroit

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have scored eight times on 19 power play opportunities this year, good for a league-leading 41.2 percent success rate.

The Detroit Red Wings, meanwhile, have been shorthanded 18 times this season… and haven’t allowed a single power play goal.

No surprise, then, that special teams dominated the conversation heading into tonight’s clash at Joe Louis Arena.

“Malkin and Crosby are two of the absolute best players in the world, and it’s always a big challenge,” Niklas Kronwall said, per the Detroit Free Press. “We need everybody that’s on the ice to be aware. Take the space away from him as much as possible.”

“Every year they produce a lot of points,” added Pavel Datsyuk, per the Detroit News. “They play well and they are always dangerous. They make things happen. It’s a good test for us. It should be a good game.”

Pittsburgh’s consecutive-games-with-a-PPG streak was snapped last night against Philadelphia, as the Pens went 0-2 with the man advantage. It was an impressive run, to say the least; Pittsburgh scored a PPG in every game this season and went on a three-game stretch (against Toronto, Dallas and the Islanders) in which it converted on seven of 14 opportunities.

Detroit, meanwhile, has been perfect on the PK — and has done it in style.

The Wings killed all seven penalties against the Leafs in a back-t0-back series last week, which came after Toronto opened the season 5-for-12 with the man advantage. Detroit also silenced the high-octane Ducks in the second game of the year, and shut down Boston and Montreal as well.