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Three Questions: Wings-Flyers's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 71st game

Tuesday, 03.17.2009 / 10:36 PM / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Flyers
What moment changed the game?

It looked as though the Wings would head into the second intermission with a 2-0 deficit, but forward Pavel Datsyuk had other ideas.  With just under three minutes remaining in the second period, the Wings’ assistant captain flew down the left-wing boards, and decided to try to catch goaltender Martin Biron off-guard.  Using his quick release, he fired a wrist shot that beat Biron high stick-side, just under the crossbar.  Datsyuk’s 28th goal of the season shook some life into the Joe Louis Arena crowd, and sent the Wings to their locker room with all the momentum heading into the third period.

What happened in the third period?

Datsyuk continued his stellar play in the final period, leading the Wings’ comeback with his quick hands.  At nearly the halfway mark of the third, he sidestepped an attempted check deep in the Philadelphia zone and kept control of the puck.  Pav proceeded to fire a cross-ice pass right onto the stick of Johan Franzen, who made no mistake in burying the one-timer shot for his 29th goal of the season and a game-tying tally.

Ninety-two seconds later, the Wings capped off the comeback, with a great play for forward Henrik Zetterberg.  The Wings’ assistant captain created a turnover behind the Detroit goal that sparked the rush down the ice that he eventually scored on.  Zetterberg raced down the ice, caught up to the play, and caught a pass from Mikael Samuelsson before rifling a wrist shot past Biron to give the Wings the lead.  From that point forward, the Wings locked up Philadelphia’s offense, and they came away with the 3-2 win.

What milestones were achieved tonight?

Goaltender Chris Osgood turned away 24 shots to lead the Wings to the comeback win, his 23rd victory of the season.  However, it was his 386th win of his career, good for moving him past former teammate Mike Vernon into 11th place on the all-time wins list.  He is now only three wins away from another former teammate; Dominik Hasek rests at 389 wins.

The night also marked Kris Draper’s 1,000th game in a Red Wings’ uniform.  He is only one of five players to accomplish that feat with the Winged Wheel.  The only other Red Wings to play in so many games are Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman, and current captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

The Wings also held a pre-game ceremony for Kirk Maltby, who played in his 1,000th NHL game on February 27.  Delvecchio came to center ice on behalf of the NHL, and he was joined by Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Lidstrom, and Maltby’s family of wife Wendy and his three children, Ella, Landen, and Leighton.


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