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Big Bert enjoys biggest day of career

Bertuzzi scores goal with four assists in Game 4 win vs, Sharks

Friday, 05.7.2010 / 12:10 AM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Big Bert enjoys biggest day of career
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DETROITJohan Franzen wasn’t the only Red Wing to have a milestone night on Thursday.

His linemate Todd Bertuzzi set a career-high in single-game points, recording a goal and four assists in the Wings’ 7-1 win over San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

“It was much-needed,” Bertuzzi said of his five-point effort, which helped the Wings avoid elimination after falling behind 3-0 in the bet-of-seven series.

He scored the Wings’ first goal on a power play 5:40 into the first period. He then went on to assist three of Franzen’s four goals. Bertuzzi’s prettiest assist came after he set-up Brian Rafalski with a beautiful cross-ice pass to make it 6-1 at the 3:05 mark of the third.

Before Thursday, Bertuzzi had never registered more than two-points in 63 career playoff games with four different teams. It was his highest point total ever in 14 NHL seasons, eclipsing his previous best, four-points, which he has done six times.

Bertuzzi has always been an offensive threat, recording 97 points in the 2002-03 season with Vancouver. But this season, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Bertuzzi had been forced to adapt a more physical, net-front presence in order to give linemates Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula space to work with the puck.

Zetterberg was happy to see Bertuzzi rewarded with a successful night in such an important game.

“It’s nice to see that he gets rewarded like that,” Zetterberg said of Bertuzzi’s five-point effort. “He’s doing a lot of work, I’ve been playing with him the whole playoffs, and played with him a lot over the season, and he doesn’t get much credit. He’s a hard worker, he’s always in front of the net, really keeping guys away from us other guys. So he’s fun to play with.”

On Thursday, Wings coach Mike Babcock decided to replace Filppula with Franzen, and the move paid off.

Bertuzzi, Franzen and Zetterberg combined for 13 points on Thursday.

“It was just one of those nights,” Bertuzzi said. “Everything Mule shot went in, and it was fun. But the night’s over and we got to get ourselves ready for the next one.”

The first goal was originally credited to Franzen, but it was later determined that Bertuzzi had tipped the shot past Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Bertuzzi admitted that he knew he had been the last player to touch the puck before it found the back of the net, but joked he feared that fans wouldn’t be happy about him taking the goal from his red-hot teammate.

“As it was going on and he got the fourth, I was like, ‘Jesus, if they announce it, I’m going to get booed out of here,’ ” Bertuzzi laughed. “I was a little reluctant to take it. But yeah, just standing in front of the net it ended up hitting me. Goals are goals, who cares who gets them.”

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80