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Three Questions: Wings-Ducks

DRW.com analyzes Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals

Thursday, 05.14.2009 / 10:08 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Ducks
Who was the hero?

It’s every hockey player’s dream to score the game-winning goal in Game 7 during the Stanley Cup playoffs.  And Red Wings forward Dan Cleary can add that moment to his list of achievements.  Cleary scored his third goal of the playoffs with exactly three minutes to go in the third period, the goal that gave the Wings the lead and the eventual series win.  Parked out in front of the Anaheim crease, Cleary watched as teammate Henrik Zetterberg flung the puck from the corner towards the goal.  The puck was high as it approached the goal, and it tricked netminder Jonas Hiller.  That gave Cleary the opportunity to start swinging away until he got the puck through Hiller and into the back of the net.

The goal sent the Joe Louis Arena crowd into a frenzy, and they never stopped yelling and screaming.  The Wings held onto the lead as the Ducks fired everything they had.  Detroit’s defense lined up at the blue line bordering their own zone, and didn’t let anything past, frustrating the Ducks until the final whistle blew.  The Wings live to see another day because of Cleary’s goal, and the Ducks go home for the summer.

What did the Wings do right?


The Wings will probably say they took too many penalties Thursday night, but they will also be happy with the performance of their penalty-killers.  The Wings started the game in penalty trouble, staring down a minute-plus five-on-three about five minutes into the first period.  However, they didn’t falter, killing off the penalties with the help of goaltender Chris Osgood.  Ozzie started off the penalty kill right, by making the save of the game before it even started.  With the Wings on the delayed call, Osgood faced defenseman James Wisniewski all alone, and he stacked the pads to rob a sure goal from the Canton, Mich. native.

It was one of 24 saves for Osgood, and the Wings’ goalie helped the team hold the Ducks to one power-play goal on five chances.   The Ducks had time on the five-on-four, five-on-three, and four-on-three, and the Wings held their ground.  To help out, the Wings’ offense fired 40 shots at Hiller, which would be exhausting for any netminder.

Who was the player of the game?


Assistant captain Henrik Zetterberg turned in a great Game 7 performance for the Wings Thursday night.  He factored in on the Wings’ first goal, picking up the second assist on Hudler’s fourth goal of the postseason.  He set up Cleary’s game-winner by dragging the puck into the corner then finding a way to get it out front.  But possibly most important was his play defensively.  Zetterberg blocked three shots (that the scoresheet reporting, anyway), and two of them came back-to-back.  With the Wings on a late penalty kill, Zetterberg took two shots right to the body, then still had the poise and strength to grab the puck and carry it all the way down to the Ducks’ zone.  It was a great defensive play by one of the top two-way players in the NHL, and it defines the way Zetterberg helps his squad.  The Wings’ forward skated for 23:42, second on the Detroit roster to only captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s 27:44.  He spent 2:28 of that on the penalty kill, and 3:32 of his time on the power play, showing his versatility.  Zetterberg also won ten face-offs, and he helped tie up Teemu Selanne at the final face-off with 6.4 seconds remaining in the Detroit end. 

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
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 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89