Three Questions: Wings-Ducks
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 59th game
Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg stole the show Friday night in front of a sold-out Joe Louis Arena crowd. Zetterberg got the offense rolling for the Wings, setting up their first goal. With Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger draped all over his back, Zetterberg walked up the boards, then threw the puck towards the goal for Dan Cleary to redirect in to tie the game.
Later on in the first period, Zetterberg set up the Wings’ second goal, working his magic behind the Anaheim goal. After taking a pass from captain Nicklas Lidstrom, Zetterberg moved behind the net, looking around for someone out front. He found his target in Pavel Datsyuk, who fired in his pass to take the lead for the Wings.
To top it off, Zetterberg picked up his 22nd goal of the season halfway through the second. Camping out to the left of the slot, Hank took a pass from Datsyuk and fired a semi-slapshot past goaltender J.S. Giguere. The Wings’ assistant captain did all this on 19:29 worth of ice time, and picked up four shots throughout the contest.
What was the turning point?
The Wings may have already had a big lead, but the five-on-three penalty kill by goaltender Ty Conklin and the Wings’ defensive specialists preserved the win for Hockeytown. With Chris Chelios and Kris Draper in the box, the Wings killed off a 50-second five-on-three advantage, then killed off the rest of the Draper penalty afterwards. It kept the lead at 4-1, but if the Ducks would have cracked the lead early in the third, the game could have ended very differently. Credit goes to Conklin for keeping the puck out of the net during the big kill. The Wings’ netminder turned aside 24 shots in the home win, moving his season record to 21-7-1. He should stay sharp; Chris Osgood will be resting for the next ten days.
What was the best goal of the night?
I’m going with Johan Franzen’s goal in the third period. The Mule, fresh off a hand injury, has shown no signs of slowing down in his second game back. Early in the third period, Franzen forechecked hard in the Anaheim zone, then started to skate back after failing to uncover the puck. He didn’t have to go far, however; the Wings’ power forward picked off a pass from Andrew Ebbett right in the Anaheim slot. In one fluid motion, Franzen spun and fired the puck towards Giguere, which surprised the Anaheim goaltender. The puck snuck past him, and Franzen recorded his 25th goal of the season to really put the game out of reach for Anaheim.