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Game 2 Notes: Zetterberg steps up

Monday, 05.12.2008 / 9:49 AM ET / News
By Brian Hunter
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Game 2 Notes: Zetterberg steps up

Henrik Zetterberg’s power-play goal with 4:47 left in the first period broke a tie and was the deciding factor as the Wings edged the Dallas Stars 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
WATCH Zetterberg's goal
With Johan Franzen making like Gordie Howe over the final month of the regular-season and into the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s possible Henrik Zetterberg has received just a little bit less attention than he’s used to getting.

But when the man who has broken a couple of Mr. Hockey’s records was sidelined Saturday with concussion-like symptoms, the Red Wings’ leading goal-scorer during the 2007-08 campaign was there to step up at a key moment.

Zetterberg’s power-play goal with 4:47 left in the first period broke a tie and was the deciding factor as the Wings edged the Dallas Stars 2-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Zetterberg, who scored 43 goals and was second only to Pavel Datsyuk with 92 points during the regular season, now has eight goals and 15 points in the postseason. His goal total is second only to Franzen’s franchise postseason record of 12, and the two are tied for the team lead in scoring.

Not that Zetterberg isn’t rooting for Franzen to make a quick comeback.

“He’s been playing unbelievable for us and he’s our scoring leader … it’s a big loss,” Zetterberg said of Franzen. “We don’t know that much, how his condition is, we just hope for the best and hopefully he’ll be back soon.”

Franzen, who is scheduled to be examined Monday, has already been ruled out for Game 3 that night in Dallas.

“It’s all about the player and his family first,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve got to get him checked out by the experts and find out what’s wrong or what’s right, and then we’ll go from there. So in the meantime we’ve got to suck it up and find a way to win.”

Dan Cleary moved up to center the second line in Franzen’s absence and Darren McCarty returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the series opener.



NHL.COM'S THREE STARS:
Zetterberg
Henrik Zetterberg’s goal made the difference for the Red Wings in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. Check out who made NHL.com’s Three Stars of the Night.



WINGS WIN GAME 2, 2-1:
Osgood
The Red Wings are halfway to the Stanley Cup final.

Detroit got first-period goals from Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg, then shut down the Dallas Stars on the way to a 2-1 victory Saturday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals at Joe Louis Arena. The Wings won the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home; Game 3 is Monday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. 


TALKING POINTS FROM GAME 2:
Helm
Given Johan Franzen’s contributions this postseason, one would certainly be under the impression that the Wings would be hard-pressed to take a 2-0 series lead, right?

Not exactly.  Darren Helm picked up his first NHL goal less than six minutes into the game, and Henrik Zetterberg broke a 1-1 tie on the power play as the Wings pulled within two victories of a trip to the Stanley Cup final with a 2-1 win over the Stars at Joe Louis Arena. 


KIDS COME THROUGH: It’s an exciting time for the Red Wings, who have tied a franchise record with eight straight postseason victories and are two wins away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. It’s a particularly thrilling period for young players like Darren Helm.

The 21-year-old center got a cup of coffee with Detroit late in the regular-season, playing seven games, then was inserted into the playoff lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinal against Nashville. Helm has played in every game since, the Red Wings haven’t lost, and Saturday night he even opened the scoring with the first goal of his NHL career.

“I’ve been playing all right, getting some chances in the past games,” Helm said. “(Jiri Hudler) just made a great play, I was able to put it in and it’s an exciting one for me. I’m glad to contribute and score for the team tonight.”

Detroit coach Mike Babcock pointed to players like Helm and Valtteri Filppula, who scored in Game 1, in dispelling any notion that the Red Wings are an aging team whose window at pursuing the Cup may be closing.

“Everyone talks about how old we are, but you take Chelly (Chris Chelios) and Dom (Dominik Hasek) out of the mix, we’re not that old, and our best players are in the prime of their careers — with the exception of (Nicklas) Lidstrom, and he can play forever if he wants,” Babcock said.

“But I mean, Filppula’s a real good player for us, and obviously he’s a young kid and Hudler’s a good player for us and Helm, as you saw tonight. We have a good mix, but our young guys are good players.”

NO OVERCONFIDENCE: It seems like eons ago now, but just over three weeks back the Red Wings were hardly a lock to advance past the first round.

When Chris Osgood took over from Hasek as the starting goaltender for Game 5 against the Predators, the Wings were coming off a pair of demoralizing losses in Nashville. Detroit won that game in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead, finished off the Preds two days later and have reeled off six more wins in a row since then.

Lest anyone think the players or coaching staff might be daydreaming of a potential Stanley Cup final against the Pittsburgh Penguins or Philadelphia Flyers, the reality is they already know how quickly and drastically a team’s fortunes can change in the playoffs.

“Five minutes after I get home tonight, I’ll get scared about Game 3,” Babcock said. “I’ve been coaching a long time and I’ve seen it go the wrong way too often. I’m a big believer in our team and how hard we work. We were here last year and it didn’t work out. You spend your whole life, if you’re in hockey, trying to win that thing, so you just want to do everything you can to get the opportunity.”

In all three series this postseason, Detroit has jumped to a 2-0 lead at home. The Wings gave the lead right back in Nashville, but in the second round the Wings kept their motors running and finished off Colorado with a sweep. To Osgood, that represents growth.

“I think we learned our lesson against Nashville in the first round,” Osgood said. “It’s not that we didn’t play well, we just didn’t do the little things right in Nashville and we made sure we did that in Colorado. We really played to our game plan, didn’t deviate from it whatsoever, and we ended up scoring a lot of goals.”

TWEAKING THE LINEUP: One rookie blueliner replaced another for the Stars in Game 2, as Matt Niskanen found his way back into the starting lineup at the expense of Mark Fistric. After getting Sergei Zubov back, Dallas coach Dave Tippett initially went with seven defensemen, but Niskanen ended up being scratched for Game 6 against San Jose and the series opener against Detroit.

There was hope veteran center Stu Barnes would be ready to return to the lineup. Barnes last played in Game 3 against San Jose; he’s been sidelined since then with a concussion. Barnes practiced on Friday, but a day later wasn’t deemed fit to play just yet.

“Stu is just average,” Tippett said. “He didn’t progress like we thought he would today.”

Dallas had a new injury concern to deal with after winger Jere Lehtinen hurt his leg in the first period Saturday and didn’t return.

Material from wire services, broadcast media and team online media was used in this report.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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