Zetterberg lifts Red Wings to win, forces Game 7

Paul Harris, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DETROIT -- Henrik Zetterberg didn't have a goal in the first five games of the Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference first-round series with the Anaheim Ducks
But the Red Wings' captain scored twice, including the game winner 1:04 into overtime, and had an assist in Detroit's 4-3 win on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena in Game 6.
The Red Wings forced Game 7 on Sunday night in Anaheim despite blowing a two-goal third period lead.
"Those two were kind of ugly ones, but that's what you need in the playoffs," said Zetterberg, who had gone seven playoff games without scoring a goal, the longest postseason drought of his career. "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 (with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader). 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."
Datsyuk had a goal and two assists. Abdelkader originally was credited with the other goal, but after the game, a scoring change gave Daniel Cleary credit for the goal.
Abdelkader returned to action after serving his two-game suspension for a hit on Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman in Game 3.
Jimmy Howard made 34 saves.
"We're excited," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We said the shorter we can make the series, advantage us, and you can't make it any shorter than this."
All three of the wins by Detroit, the Western Conference's seventh seed, in the series have been in overtime.
Emerson Etem had a goal and an assist and Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Ryan also scored for Anaheim, the second seed. Jonas Hiller stopped 25 shots.
"In overtime everything happens quickly and anything can happen," Hiller said. "If you don't play your best the whole game, anything can happen."
Zetterberg's winner came on a slap shot from above the left circle.
Datsyuk won the face-off back to Zetterberg, he passed to defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who got it back to Zetterberg.
Abdelkader was in front of the net screening Hiller.
"I just tried to get out of the way so it could find its way in," Abdelkader said. "He made a heckuva shot."
Etem and Ryan scored 51 seconds apart in the final four minutes to tie the game 3-3 and force overtime.
Etem made it 3-2 with 3:28 left when he intercepted Valtteri Filppula's back pass off the back boards behind the Detroit net and put the puck past the surprised Howard for his second goal. Ryan tied it on a shot from just outside the crease to Howard's right, with 2:37 left. It was Ryan's second goal.
"You're in overtime, you have a chance to win, you're confident. We didn't win," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said.
Zetterberg hit the goal post with 57 seconds left.
His power-play goal 6:19 into the third period broke a 1-1 tie. Zetterberg's first of the series came on a slap shot from just above the left circle.
Cleary scored with 8:30 left to make it 3-1. Abdelkader's screened shot from along the left wing boards hit the goal post and bounced off Cleary.
Palmieri was credited with the goal that tied the game at 1, with 8:29 left in the middle period. His shot from the right circle hit the goal post but deflected back into the net off Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith. It was Palmieri's third goal of the series.
The play was caused by a turnover by Smith's defensive partner Kyle Quincey. Etem intercepted Quincey's flubbed pass from around the Detroit blue line and passed to Palmieri.
Howard made a spectacular save on Teemu Selanne about three minutes into the second period. Selanne appeared to have an empty net off a cross-crease feed from Etem, but Howard was able to get over and make the stop.
Datsyuk opened the scoring with 1:12 left in the first period. He carried the puck from the left circle into the slot, making a move around Ryan Getzlaf in the process, and beat Hiller with a backhand shot for Datsyuk's second goal of the series.
NOTE: While Abdelkader returned after serving his two-game suspension for a hit on Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman, Lydman did not return. He still is complaining of headaches and isn't close, according to Ducks' coach Bruce Boudreau. Abdelkader rejoined Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the Red Wings' top line. Forward Patrick Eaves came out of the Detroit lineup to make room for Abdelkader. ... Detroit defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo made his series debut, replacing Brian Lashoff on the Wings' blue line. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he thought Colaiacovo would improve the Red Wings' ability to move the puck out of their own zone. ... Red Wings rookie defenseman Dan DeKeyser, who broke his thumb in Game 2 and is out for the season, had successful surgery on Monday. ... It is the first time in Detroit franchise history that the team played four overtime games in a playoff series.

What to Read Next