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Filppula's dandy on the spot

Forward picks great time to break out of point slump

Tuesday, 05.10.2011 / 11:52 PM ET / News
By Jeff Sanford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Filppula\'s dandy on the spot
DETROIT – Prior to Tuesday’s Game 6 of the San Jose series, Valteri Filppula had been kind of silent.

That changed however, as the Red Wings forward had two points in a 1:16 span to help make the Western Conference semifinal series a real series now.

Filppula assisted on the Wings’ first goal, which tied the score at 1. Moments later he stole a pass in the neutral zone from the Sharks’ Logan Couture and headed for the offensive zone.

“I thought he was excellent,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock, referring to Filppula. “He’s a guy we need more from, and he really stepped up tonight. He made some good plays. I thought on the goal, he kicked it out to (Pavel) Datsyuk then drove to the far post, I thought it was a great play by him. He was an important guy for us. He hadn’t scored in the series, and he probably feels great about himself, which is great as we prepare for Game 7.”

Trailing 1-0 late, Filppula skated into Sharks’ zone, spun around, and dished the puck off to Niklas Kronwall, setting up the Wings’ first goal of the game and allowing the Wings to tie the Sharks after an intense, extremely physical two-period battle. 

A shift later, Filppula stole a pass from Couture, and feathered a pass to Datsyuk and then cut toward the net. Datsyuk then sent a cross-ice pass to Filppula, who batted a bouncing puck past goalie Antti Niemi.

“I thought Fil had probably his best game of the series so far,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. “The way he skated with the puck, how hard he worked defensively. And it was great to see him get rewarded by getting two points out there tonight.”

Despite tallying five points in the Phoenix series, Filppula had been held in check by an aggressive Sharks’ defense. Fortunately, Filppula picked the perfect time to find the boxscore. The Wings were in desperate need for a goal after finding themselves down 1-0 after a puck tauntingly danced through the legs of goalie Jimmy Howard early in the third period.

And Filppula’s game-winning goal to put Detroit ahead for the first time in the game at 12:32 in the third nearly deflated a surging Sharks’ team that had been outplayed for the first two periods.

Even if Filppula was the Game 6 hero, for the man himself, it just boils down to wins and losses.

“I just feel good that we won,” Filppula said. “That’s the main thing. During these games, every game we’ve been winning, it doesn’t really matter who gets the goals. But I’m always happy to help the team so that’s a good thing.”

That’s a good thing, indeed.

With Filppula’s game-winning goal, the Wings forced a Game 7 after being down 0-3 in the series. Detroit will look to be the fourth team in NHL history to come back from a three-game deficit Thursday night in San Jose.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59