Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow the Red Wings of YouTube! Follow DetroitRedWings on Periscope! Follow the Red Wings on Vine! Follow the Red Wings on Google +! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Follow the Red Wings on Pinterest! Follow the Red Wings on Tumblr! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Brunner helps get power play on track

Swiss rookie puts end to Red Wings' special teams drought

Friday, 01.25.2013 / 11:27 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
X
Share with your Friends


Brunner helps get power play on track
false

   Todd Bertuzzi, who missed the first three games of the season 
   w
ith the flu, scored twice in Friday's win over the Wild at Joe
   Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – On a night when Todd Bertuzzi scored a pair of goals in his season debut, it was a Swiss import with a lofty reputation for possessing a wicked fast release that helped get the Red Wings’ special teams back on track.

“He’s got Brett Hull-ish kind of release and quickness with his shot,” Bertuzzi said, referring to Damien Brunner, the Red Wings’ rookie forward. “Now it’s just getting adjusted to our game over here. The rinks are a little bit smaller and all of that, he’ll find his spots, but that was a very big goal.”

Brunner’s goal put an end to a special-teams drought for Red Wings, whose power play struggled mightily through the first three games of the compressed season. Even in the first period, the power play unit failed to convert on a 5-on-3 opportunity that lasted for 1:30.

But power-play goals by Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk eventually propelled the Wings to a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena. The goals were the first power-play tallies of the season for the Wings, who were 0-for-17 with the man-advantage.

It was Brunner’s quickness that revved up the Wings’ anemic power play 13-seconds into the second period. With Henrik Zetterberg charging through the middle of the neutral zone, Brunner wheeled down the right wing, blasting past Wild center Kyle Brodziak and across the blue line where he took a perfect pass in stride from the Wings’ captain.

“That was perfect,” Brunner said, of the pass. “I finally got some speed going. I went underneath Kronner. He knows that I'm coming there and it was perfect. He beat the defenseman with the pass so it was perfect pass.”

Then, without skipping a beat, Brunner ripped a wrister to the opposite corner over the catching glove of Wild goalie Josh Harding that gave the Wings a 1-0 lead. It was Brunner’s second career goal.

“Today he got a huge goal and got us going,” said Zetterberg, who played with Brunner in Switzerland during the NHL lockout. “I think it’s good to have some chemistry, but that was a different league, a different ice surface. It will take a little time to adjust here, but hopefully we can keep playing like we did tonight.”

Zetterberg and Brunner combined on 41 goals in the Switzerland’s National League A this season before returning to North America for the start of the 48-game NHL season last week.

After taking a 2-0 lead, then a 3-2 edge, the Wings managed to restore their two-goal cushion on the power play again. In the waning minutes of the second period, with Johan Franzen parked in front of Harding, Datsyuk scored his second goal of the season to give the Wings a 4-2 lead late in the period.

Seventeen seconds after Niklas Kronwall came out of the penalty box for hooking, Zetterberg jumped over the boards and was left alone on the left wing where Datsyuk spotted him and delivered a cross-ice pass to the captain, who slid a shot underneath Harding for a 3-2 lead.

The Red Wings welcomed the return of Bertuzzi and center Darren Helm to the lineup on Friday. The two certainly added some much needed energy to the Wings, with Bertuzzi collecting five shots on goal, and Helm delivering a game-high four hits.

“We just needed a win, man,” Bertuzzi said. “We need wins. I don’t think it’s anything other than that. I think our power play kind of got us going and it’s a momentum-builder, and it’s also a drainer when it’s not going, so I thought the first unit did a really nice job of getting it going.”

THREE STARS: 3, Zach Parise, MIN (2 goals); 2, Todd Bertuzzi, DET (2 goals); 1, Pavel Datsyuk, DET (1 goal, 2 assists).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map