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Zetterberg leads Wings in OT win

Captain's three-point night send Detroit to Game 7 in Anaheim

Friday, 05.10.2013 / 11:56 PM ET / Recap
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Zetterberg leads Wings in OT win

Henrik Zetterberg's three-point night paced the Red Wings to a 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 Friday at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek)

DETROIT – It wasn’t for the lack of trying, but Henrik Zetterberg finally scored not one goal, but two, in the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Anaheim Ducks.

“You want to be on the scoresheet,” Zetterberg said. “All you can do is continue to work hard, keep putting pucks on the net and hopefully one or two will sneak by the goalie.”

The captain wasn’t about to let the frustration of not scoring cloud the importance of playing in an elimination game with the Ducks leading the series three games to two.

Zetterberg collected three points, including his first playoff goal this spring, beating Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller with a third-period slap shot that gave Detroit a 2-1 lead in Game 6. However, his power-play goal didn’t standup as the game-winner, and neither did Daniel Cleary’s tip-in moments later, as the Ducks marched back with a pair of goals that sent the game into overtime at 3-3.

For the first time in franchise history the Red Wings were headed to a fourth overtime game in a single playoff series. But the extra session didn’t last long when Zetterberg potted his second slap shot into the back of the Ducks’ net just 64-seconds in to complete the 4-3 victory.

“I think we felt we played too good to lose this one,” Zetterberg said. “It's a tough ending in regulation there but we did a lot of good things, been in overtime before, so just try to go out and play – kind of go back and play the way we did and it was nice to see that go in at the start.”

A lot had been made of Zetterberg’s scoring drought in the playoffs. Entering Friday’s game at Joe Louis Arena, he had gone second straight postseason games without scoring a goal.

Finally, on shot No. 23, the captain beat Hiller with a slap shot from the top of the left circle. The power-play goal ended his drought and gave the Wings a 2-1 lead at 6:19 of the third period.

“Those two were kind of ugly ones, but that’s what you need in the playoffs,” said Zetterberg, who also assisted on Pavel Datsyuk’s magnificent first-period goal. “We started to feel the frustration when the puck doesn’t go in, but at the same time we’ve been doing a lot of good things on our line. We just keep at it, keep shooting the pucks, maybe over shot it a little bit more and the pucks will go in eventually. Today, I don’t think they were two of my hardest shots, but they found a way to go in.”

Still, Zetterberg had a chance to end the game in the final minute of regulation. He came off the bench, raced into the offensive zone where he picked off a Ryan Getzlaf pass. As a Ducks’ defenseman rode Zetterberg to the ice, the captain whipped a back-hander that beat Hiller, but caromed off the right post.

It was good that the Red Wings’ best players were their best players Friday night.

“I think that he’s been one of the best players in this whole series,” rookie forward Gustav Nyquist said. “He’s one of the best players in the world, so for us to be good we need him to be good, and he was great tonight. I think him and Pavel were outstanding.”

Now anything can happen in a decisive Game 7, which is Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT in Anaheim.

“I think everyone is excited and we’re just happy to force a Game 7,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “Anything can happen in a Game 7. We have a lot of experience, a lot of guys who have been through Game 7s and I think you can kind of say that our last four games were kind of Game 7s, win or go home. So I think we’re ready for it. We’re excited for our opportunity to hop back on that plane and head back West.”

THREE STARS: 3, Jonas Hiller, ANA (25 saves, L); 2, Jimmy Howard, DET (34 saves, W); 1, Henrik Zetterberg, DET (two goals, 1 assist).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89