The way goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask were playing in Game 1 between Boston and Detroit, you knew it was going to take something special to break the scoreless tie. Fortunately, that's sort of where Pavel Datsyuk excels.
The Red Wings stole Game 1 of series with a 1-0 win Friday, and the difference, as he often is, was the wizardly Datsyuk, who scored the game-winner on a dazzling, beautiful individual effort with just over three minutes remaining.
I was going to go out tonight. I think I may just stay in with this goal.
So much beauty here, and it begins at the moment that Datsyuk corrals this puck. The play begins with a truly terrible pass from Johan Franzen, who tries to flip it to Datsyuk to start the breakout and winds up losing it in traffic.
But no matter. Already dashing through the neutral zone like a one horse open sleigh, Datsyuk reaches back behind him and snags the puck, dragging it between all three Bruins' forwards, then slingshotting it through his legs and up to his stick. He does all this at full speed.
From there, he rocks into the Bruins' end, pulling the puck away from a Zdeno Chara pokecheck attempt before dancing across the zone and shooting it through a Justin Abdelkader screen and past Rask.
Just an unbelievable play, and one of the reasons you shouldn't count the Red Wings out of this series. They may not have Boston's record, and they may not have Boston's depth, but as long as they have Pavel Datsyuk, they're a scary team.
Don't just take my word for it. Colin Hanks agrees:
Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon.
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- Pavel Datsyuk
- Tuukka Rask