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Datsyuk, red-hot Red Wings top Blue Jackets

Mar 23, 2008 - 3:52 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The Detroit Red Wings continue to ride the back of Pavel Datsyuk during their pursuit of the Presidents' Trophy.

Datsyuk scored a goal and set up two others as the Red Wings cruised to a 4-1 win over the Central Division rival Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen also tallied, while defenseman Brian Rafalski added two assists.

Datsyuk now has eight goals and six assists in the last eight games. Meanwhile, it was the fourth tally in the last three contests for Zetterberg, who recorded a natural hat trick in a 3-1 home win over Columbus on Wednesday.

"The first year I was here, Pavel was a great offensive player, and Zetterberg was a good two-way player but not as dynamic offensively," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Now it's as good of a 1-2 punch there is in hockey."

The Red Wings (50-20-6) have won eight of 10 and moved seven points ahead of the idle San Jose Sharks (45-21-9) in the race for the league's best mark.

"We have a shot, and that's all you can ask for," Babcock said.

Dominik Hasek stopped 11 shots for Detroit, which posted its third straight 50-win season and the fifth in franchise history.

"It's impressive," Babcock said. "Everyone talks about it every year, but they built a program here with good players. I'm fortunate enough to be the coach. I'm proud to be the coach."

Captain Rick Nash scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets (33-31-11), who were outshot, 21-12, and remained seven points behind the Colorado Avalanche (39-31-6) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It's just going to make it that much harder," Nash said. "We are already in a hole. We pretty much are going to have to win out. If we want to do this, we have to believe in ourselves."

Datsyuk set up first-period tallies by Lidstrom and Zetterberg.

"He creates a lot of offense for us," said Zetterberg of Datsyuk. "He is a lot of fun to be on the ice with."

"I am playing with very good players right now that make it easy for me to get the points," Datsyuk said. "We are playing well as a team and are hoping to keep that going for the last few games and into the playoffs."

After a scoreless second session, Nash halved the deficit with his 38th goal of the season just 43 seconds into the third as he fired a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Hasek to the stick side.

"I was trying to make something happen," Nash said. "It was a big goal that got us back in the game at that time, but we weren't able to build on that and close the gap."

However, Franzen restored the two-goal bulge with his 10th goal in as many games, sending a backhander from the slot past goaltender Fredrik Norrena at 12:52 of the third. Datsyuk capped the scoring with a shorthander with 5:03 remaining.

Detroit jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of power-play tallies. With the Red Wings on a two-man advantage, Lidstrom scored his eighth goal of the season at 6:02 of the first.

Detroit took advantage of another man-advantage opportunity as Zetterberg netted his career-high 40th goal at 9:41.

Norrena stopped 17 shots for Columbus, which was 0-for-5 on the power play.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 0 2 4
    COLUMBUS 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) NICKLAS LIDSTROM 8 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 6:02
    DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 40 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 9:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: COB - RICK NASH 38 (FREDRIK MODIN, MANNY MALHOTRA) 0:43


    Mar 22 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 4
    COLUMBUS 1
    3RD PRD: DET - (SH) PAVEL DATSYUK 31 (UNASSISTED) 14:57

    Red Wings 4, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 5:03Mar 22 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 3
    COLUMBUS 1
    3RD PRD: DET - JOHAN FRANZEN 22 (CHRIS CHELIOS, TOMAS KOPECKY) 12:52

    Red Wings 3, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 7:08Mar 22 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 2
    COLUMBUS 1
    3RD PRD: COB - RICK NASH 38 (FREDRIK MODIN, MANNY MALHOTRA) 0:43

    Red Wings 2, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 19:17Mar 22 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 0 2
    COLUMBUS 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) NICKLAS LIDSTROM 8 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 6:02
    DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 40 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 9:41
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Mar 22 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 2
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) NICKLAS LIDSTROM 8 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 6:02
    DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 40 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 9:41
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DE

    Mar 22 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 2
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 40 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN
    RAFALSKI) 9:41

    Red Wings 2, Blue Jackets 0  1st - 10:19Mar 22 7:26 PM


  • NHL
    DETROIT 1
    COLUMBUS 0
    1ST PRD: DET - (PP) NICKLAS LIDSTROM 8 (PAVEL DATSYUK, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    6:02 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Red Wings 1, Blue Jackets 0  1st - 13:58Mar 22 7:20 PM