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Three Questions: Wings-Sharks

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 31st game

Thursday, 12.18.2008 / 10:00 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Sharks
What was the story of the game?

The clash between the top two Western Conference teams was won and lost by a quick snap with seven minutes left in the first period. Detroit forward Johan Franzen brought the puck over the San Jose blue line, and with a quick snap (that first appeared to be a dump-in) beat goalie Evgeni Nabokov glove side. It was only the Wings’ third shot of the game, and the strike seemed to really get into Nabokov’s head. The Red Wings jumped on the shaken goaltender, with Pavel Datsyuk scoring on the very next shot with a quick wrister 1:27 later. From that point, Nabokov struggled, and the Red Wings never let up their assault. The quick two markers on back-to-back shots was the start the Wings needed as they coasted to a 6-0 victory. Coach Mike Babcock and his squad sent a message to the rest of the NHL with the dominating performance over the team holding the league’s best record, not to mention finding a little revenge after the first meeting between the two clubs.

Who was the Wings’ MVP?


Goalie Ty Conklin is the main reason for the big win in Hockeytown, and not only because of his shutout performance. He kept the Wings in the game during some first-period struggles.  With 7:34 remaining in the opening period, the shots were 7-2 in favor of San Jose. Conklin never wavered, stopping nine shots in the first to keep everything out of his net until Franzen could crack the scoreless tie.

And once the Wings had a comfortable lead, Conklin slammed the door, stopping 15 shots throughout the second and third to guide the Wings. He also played the lead in the shorthanded situations as usual, helping the Wings kill off two penalties. Needless to say, Conklin looked impressive en route to his second shutout of the season.

Who had the most impressive night up front?


Datsyuk had quite the night. His first goal of the night, as previously mentioned, found its way to the net through a crowd, but without his ability to protect the puck he never would have got the shot off. Pav protected the puck with his body, pulling it back and wide, away from the defense chasing, and snapped it before Nabokov saw it coming. Datsyuk used the defense to his advantage for his second goal as well, making a quick toe drag and firing a shot through the defenseman, utilizing him as a screen to score his 10th goal of the season.

But Datsyuk didn’t only score tonight; his passing skills were on full display again. He found his left wing, Marian Hossa, wide-open in the slot with a no-look backhand dish that Hossa wired past Nabokov. Datsyuk also picked up a secondary assist on Brad Stuart’s marker in the third. Pavel's most impressive pass didn’t find its way to the scoresheet. Early in the first period, he picked up the puck at the side of the San Jose goal, made a 360-degree spin while firing a rocket cross-crease to Hossa, a pass that was actually too hot to handle for the Wings’ leading scorer.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89