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Down, not out for Wings' Datsyuk

Detroit sniper bounces back after big hit by Kings' Doughty

Sunday, 02.10.2013 / 4:26 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Down, not out for Wings\' Datsyuk

DETROIT – Throughout his NHL career, there’s been a higher likelihood of spotting a unicorn than seeing Pavel Datsyuk knocked on his can in a hockey game.

But Sunday, the Red Wings’ star center was treated rudely by Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty with a bone crushing, blind side hit (see photo above) that ended with Datsyuk helmetless and in a heap along the ice behind the Kings’ net.

“He’s obviously always vulnerable, but when you’re short handed and Doughty’s flying, trying to come back … ,” Wings forward Daniel Cleary said. “But he scored right away. He’s a competitive guy.”

Datsyuk did get the last laugh, when on his next shift, he scored the game’s first goal in the Wings’ 3-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday afternoon. And as the case has been for the majority of two-plus seasons, when Datsyuk scores, the final verdict is usually a favorable one for Detroit.

Since the 2010-11 season, the Wings are 38-1-5 – that’s a magnificent .920 winning percentage – when Datsyuk scores.

It’s so unusual for an opposing player to get a clean shot on Datsyuk, but even when it does happen he somehow bounces back with an even greater determination, coach Mike Babcock said.

“When I watch Pavel Datsyuk play all I think about is how much will he has and how determined he is,” Babcock said. “He just keeps coming. He doesn’t care who it is or who he’s playing. The best of the best are ultra competitive and they bring it every single day. They don’t have it every day, but they bring it. Those guys are our best players and they drive our bus.”

The Doughty hit came early in the game. While killing a Niklas Kronwall penalty, Datsyuk worked off the left wing, cut to the middle of the ice where he cruised by Kings defenseman Alex Martinez. Unfortunately, the Wings’ magician didn’t see Doughty, who entered the picture from the right side before he lowered the boom.

Datsyuk got his revenge when on the power play, he skated into the zone at top speed, took a cross-ice pass from Henrik Zetterberg, cut to the middle, splitting the defense of Slava Voynov and Rob Scuderi, and fired a shot top shelf over Jonathan Quick’s glove hand.

“You know, Pav has been doing it all year for us, as he has year after year,” Kronwall said. “It doesn’t matter if he gets hit, though it rarely happens because he’s so smart. Tonight, Doughty was able to find him, but Pavel just got up and kept playing his game.”

The win is the Red Wings three consecutive victory in regulation, the first time that they’ve strung together as many since they won four straight last February. Sunday’s game was the third in four days for the Wings, who looked absolutely exhausted from the second period on.

“I knew it was going to be ugly today, but I just wanted it to be an ugly win not an ugly loss,” Babcock said. “When you wake up in the morning and look in the paper this isn’t a thing of beauty. That’s the way the league is. You have to find a way to win.

“We were awful. … We sagged there a bit in the second period, but we responded.”

Datsyuk, who had a team-high six shots, also played a significant role in Jonathan Ericsson’s game-winning goal with 4.5-seconds remaining in regulation. Though Datsyuk wasn’t credited with the face-off win to the right of Quick, the puck was send behind the Kings’ net where Cleary retrieved it.

“With 14 seconds left I got a good jump on (Alec) Martinez and I don’t know what happened after that,” Cleary said. “I think Pavel got it from me and fed it to Big E. I know Big E scored, I saw it trickle in.”

Ericsson didn’t see the puck cross the goal line, either. Though he was immediately thanked by an appreciative game official, who wasn’t a proponent of overtime on Sunday.

“One of the linesmen was thanking me after I scored,” Ericsson said. “He said, ‘Thank you so much. I really had to go pee. I wouldn’t last overtime.’ That was kind of funny.”

But not for the Kings, who despite out-shooting Detroit, 47-31, dropped their season record to 3-5-2 on the young season.

THREE STARS: 3, Alec Martinez, LAK (1 goal); 2, Henrik Zetterberg, DET (2 assists); 1, Jimmy Howard, DET (46 saves).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


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
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and 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.
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