February 26, 2009
On a night when booing Claude Lemieux dominated the pregame hype, it was Zetterberg who helped steal the show for the Wings in their decisive 4-1 victory over the conference-leading San Jose Sharks. He played nearly 22 minutes and scored two goals: A power-play tally in the third period, and this shorthanded highlight reel goal in the second that gave Detroit a 3-0 advantage:
Minus Sidney Crosby (groin) and Ryan Whitney (personal reasons), the shorthanded Penguins needed someone to step up against the lowly Islanders. Sergei Gonchar and Sykora did just that, as the veteran defenseman found the Penguins winger open in front of goalie Yann Danis for the only goal of the game at 17:32 of the third. Pittsburgh gets two critical points sans Sidney, 1-0 over the Islanders.
No. 3 Star: Marty Biron, Philadelphia Flyers
Biron was very solid in his 34-save shutout win over the visiting Los Angeles Kings, with good lateral movement and rebound control. Better yet, it came one night after Antero Niittymaki was fantastic in a win over the Capitals, as the two battle for the No. 1 job. The Flyers defeated the Kings, 2-0, behind Biron's 25th career shutout.
Honorable Mention: The New York Rangers played better hockey in their debut under new coach John Tortorella, but still came up short in the shootout against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1. Nikolai Kulemin had the shootout game-winner; Vesa Toskala made 31 saves; meanwhile, Markus Naslund and Ian White hugged it out. ... Ty Conklin is now 13-1-0 at home for the Red Wings. ... Jeff Carter scored Goal No. 36 in the Flyers' win, giving him sole possession of second overall in the NHL.
Dishonorable Mention: Marian Hossa scored his 34th for the Wings, but left the game for precautionary reasons after taking an elbow to the head from Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray. The AP reported "concussion-like symptoms"; Coach Mike Babcock says he's fine. ... Sharks/Wings was a chippy affair, with the teams combining for 14 power plays. ... Finally, if Claude Lemieux wants to remain in the NHL, skating for 5:38 and failing to score in a critical game isn't going to cut it.