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Three Questions: Wings-Wild

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 38th game

Saturday, 01.3.2009 / 11:02 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Wild
How did the Wings get the win this time?

It took the Red Wings 48:12 of a 60-minute hockey game to have a power play.  For the NHL’s best man-advantage unit, that’s a long wait.  But Detroit coach Mike Babcock finally got to put out his top scorers on the power play in the closing minutes of the third period, and the Wings made their opportunities count.  They weren’t able to score on their first opportunity, but forced the Wild into taking another penalty right afterwards, and that’s when Johan Franzen struck to tie the game at two.  A scrum out in front of the Wild net resulted with the puck squirting out to captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who fired a slapshot towards the crowd.  The initial shot missed the net, but it bounced off the glass behind the Minnesota goal and flew over the net towards the crease.  That’s where Franzen was standing, and he smacked the puck into the net baseball-style for his team-leading 18th goal. 

Pavel Datsyuk capped off the win in the shoot-out with arguably the most impressive penalty-shot goal this season.  Coming in on goaltender Josh Harding, Datsyuk reached deep into his bag of tricks to thoroughly embarrass the young netminder.  He went backhand, then back to the forehand, and then really made his move, performing a backhanded toe drag to confuse the goalie and pull it to the right.  To finish it off, Datsyuk roofed the puck, up over the leg of Harding.

How did Chris Osgood look in his first game back?

Goaltender Chris Osgood said he was feeling perfectly healthy for the first time this season, and it showed Saturday night.  Osgood returned for his first start in eight games, with a foul taste in his mouth after losing to Colorado in his last start.  He redeemed himself with an impressive start, turning away 24 shots in the first two periods.  Then he, along with the rest of the Wings, got burned by a questionable whistle when Detroit was in penalty trouble in the third period.  The referees blew a play dead with one second left on Dan Cleary’s penalty time, so the Wings were stuck taking a face-off still on a five-on-three disadvantage.  The Wild capitalized before Cleary could get back into the play, and the goal probably wouldn’t have happened if the whistle had blown just a second later.  The change in momentum led the Wild to scoring again 16 seconds later.

Osgood, however, didn’t falter.  He held strong for the Wings as they waited for an opportunity to tie the game, and they came through for him.  Ozzie made seven stops in the third, two in overtime, and all the stops required in the shootout.  He shut down Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu with a big glove save on the last shot to finish off the win for Detroit.

Who was the player of the game?

Henrik Zetterberg turned heads in the Winter Classic, and he continued his dominance in the Wings’ next game.  The forward was the main responsible for the Wings’ first goal, as he stole the puck at Detroit blue line, rushed it all the way down while avoiding a hit, and wrapped around the Minnesota goal.  Mikael Samuelsson scored, but all he had to do was make sure he made contact with Zetterberg’s impressive pass from behind the goal.  Zetterberg was second in total ice time for the Detroit offense, only 30 seconds behind Datsyuk.  He played 2:25 on the penalty-kill, and finished plus-one, continuing his impressive play in the Detroit end.     


SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89