for this game

Datsyuk, Zetterberg push Stars to brink

May 13, 2008 - 4:57 AM
DALLAS (Ticker) -- Pavel Datsyuk had gone 445 regular-season games and 72 playoff contests without recording a hat trick. The first of his NHL career put the Detroit Red Wings within one victory of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Datsyuk scored three times and Henrik Zetterberg added a goal and two assists as the top-seeded Red Wings took a commanding lead in their Western Conference final series with the fifth-seeded Dallas Stars by posting a 5-2 triumph Monday in Game Three.

"(I) tried to skate more, go deep in the zone, make the defensemen turn," Datsyuk said of his first hat trick. "Tried to go to the net and shoot everything on (goaltender Marty) Turco. Actually, today I had three good passes, used the chances."

Jiri Hudler also scored and defenseman Brian Rafalski notched a pair of assists for Detroit, which grabbed a three-games-to-none advantage in the best-of-seven series.

"It was one of those games we found a way to win," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "And our big guys, Datsyuk and Zetterberg, were absolutely phenomenal. I thought our D was very good and Ozzie (Chris Osgood) was, as well."

Osgood made 16 saves in improving to 9-0 this postseason for the Red Wings, who have won a franchise-record nine straight playoff games. Detroit previously won eight in a row in both 1952 and 1995.

"It was a total team effort," Osgood said. "Everybody has a job and they relish doing it. We have a game plan and we stick to it. We stay composed more than we did in the past."

Since taking over for six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek in Game Four of the conference quarterfinals against Nashville, Osgood has posted a 1.47 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage - both league bests this postseason.

"He was our best goalie all year," Babcock said of Osgood. "He won the most games, he played really, really well. And he played well last year. Ever since he's worked on his butterfly, he's been back to being a real good goalie.

"You've got to give the guy a lot of credit for reinventing himself. He's now back at the top of his game. He's a great teammate, that's what he is. He's a great guy. He's funny, he's good to be around, the guys play hard for him. They really like him. But he's given them an opportunity right now. At playoff time, goaltending is everything."

Rookie blue-liner Nicklas Grossman and Brad Richards tallied for Dallas, which hopes to avoid being swept when it hosts Game Four on Wednesday.

"Belief is what we have," Turco said. "We've won four games (in a row) plenty of times, and we're not going to focus and rely on bounces and hoped-fors. There's only one way to do this, and that's just make it happen. It's going to be a tall order, but one at a time."

"This team has battled and been resilient all year, and we're not changing a thing," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "We'll got to practice (Tuesday) and we'll practice and gear up for Game Four and come and compete our hardest and see if we can win a game."

The Stars nearly took their first lead in the series 6 1/2 minutes into the opening period. But after splitting a pair of defenders for a short breakaway, Toby Petersen was denied by Osgood, keeping the game scoreless.

Less than three minutes later, the Red Wings got on the board courtesy of Datsyuk.

From the top of the right faceoff circle, Zetterberg dished to Datsyuk, who unleashed a backhander from the slot that caromed off the left goalpost and into the net at 9:27.

"They tried to play more physical and more attack, and then we tried to force them," Datsyuk said. "We tried to make it easy and tried to play more in the O-zone. We're happy we could make it, we scored first."

"We played a lot of games together and we find that chemistry," Zetterberg said. "Some nights, it works a little better than others."

The assist extended Zetterberg's points streak to eight games, four shy of matching the franchise postseason record set by Hall of Famer Gordie Howe in 1964.

"They're good players, and good players play when it counts," Babcock said. "That's what they do."

"You just want to let those guys loose," Detroit's Kris Draper said. "You can't say enough about them. The way those guys are playing is unreal."

A finalist for the Selke Trophy, Datsyuk gave Detroit a 2-1 edge with 4:10 remaining in the first with his 18th career postseason tally. Tomas Holmstrom completed a pass from the left faceoff dot to the All-Star Russian, who backhanded it by Turco from the doorstep for his third multi-goal performance of the playoffs.

"It's all about confidence with Pavel," Draper said. "And he's got a lot of it right now."

"He's working hard and it's great to see him get rewarded," Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He's able to have two players on him and still get to the net or find openings and still go hard to the net. It was great to see him get three goals like that."

Datsyuk's second goal came just 37 seconds after the Stars had forged a 1-1 tie.

"I thought it gave us the momentum right back," Lidstrom said. "They got the crowd into it, but to get that second goal was very important for our team and got our bench going. I thought it was a momentum-swinging goal for us."

"You feel like you've got a lot of momentum going your way, and then the next shift, we gave it right back," Tippett said. "Those are demoralizing things."

With the Red Wings ahead, 4-2, Datsyuk completed his hat trick - and Detroit's third this postseason - with 2:41 left in the third.

After Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen coughed up the puck in the right corner, Zetterberg fed Datsyuk, who beat Turco from the slot to seal the victory.

"They were awesome tonight," Osgood said. "I'm at a loss for words."

"Most of the time, he's real good," Zetterberg said of Datsyuk. "His lowest level is really high. He plays real good for us, night in, night out. And you know you can really trust him because he will play good offense and good defense for us every time he's out there."

Tippett admitted his team was unable to control the duo of Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

"We didn't have much answers for them tonight," Tippett said. "Those two are a rare breed because they're a line that you look at that you should be checking, but in actual fact, they're a checking line. So those players are a rare couple players."

Grossman knotted the game at 1-1 with 4:47 remaining in the first with his first career playoff goal. From the left corner, Mike Modano made a backhand pass to the 23-year-old Swede, who one-timed a shot past Osgood from the slot.

The Stars deadlocked the contest again at 2-2 early in the second on a fluke play.

From along the left wing boards near the end line, Richards attempted a pass in front. But the puck caromed off the left leg of defenseman Brad Stuart and past Osgood at 3:47 for Richards' third of the postseason.

"We want to get a lead in this series," Richards said. "We still haven't had that. A 2-2 hockey game on home ice in the second period, you'd like to think you could get a lead."

But Hudler put Detroit ahead for good with 8:06 to go in the period, beating Turco to the glove side with a backhander after receiving a pass from defenseman Niklas Kronwall for a breakaway.

"I thought after we scored the third goal, the game was over," Babcock said. "We had the puck in the third period, and even when they were on the power play, we still seemed to have the puck."

"Some bad changes caused the Hudler goal, and four guys to Zetterberg for Datsyuk's third," Modano said. "Some breakdowns here and there, and you can't afford that against these guys. You're pretty much expected to play a mistake-free game and everybody needs to be at such a high level."

Kronwall's assist was his 11th of the playoffs, moving him within two of the franchise mark set by Lidstrom in 1998 and matched by another current teammate, Chris Chelios, in 2002.

The Red Wings, who had their string of six consecutive games with a power-play goal snapped, doubled their lead with a shorthander early in the third.

With Holmstrom in the penalty box for goaltender interference, Zetterberg raced down the right wing 1-on-1 against Richards, who was manning the point for the Stars on the power play.

Recognizing he was up against a forward, Zetterberg cut across the slot to the bottom of the left circle before wristing the puck past Turco 98 seconds into the period for a 4-2 bulge.

"I came pretty fresh from the bench," Zetterberg said. "I looked up, saw it was a forward, and I knew he'd been out there for a while. I guess I had a little bit more energy. They weren't backchecking, so it made it easy for me to cut in the middle."

"I thought he gave us a lot of momentum when he got that goal," Lidstrom said. "He realized they had a forward back there at the point and he took advantage of it. It was a great individual effort."

Turco turned aside 16 shots.






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    DJRob Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 5, Stars 2  FinalMay 12 11:07 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 1 2 5
    DALLAS 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 6 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:27
    DAL - NIKLAS GROSSMAN 1 (MIKE MODANO, BRENDEN MORROW) 15:13
    DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 7 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    15:50
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRAD

    May 12 10:34 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 5
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 8 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG) 17:19

    Red Wings 5, Stars 2  3rd - 2:41May 12 10:29 PM
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Red Wings 4, Stars 2  3rd - 13:30May 12 10:09 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 4
    DALLAS 2
    3RD PRD: DET - (SH) HENRIK ZETTERBERG 9 (UNASSISTED) 1:38

    Red Wings 4, Stars 2  3rd - 18:22May 12 10:02 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 1 3
    DALLAS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 6 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:27
    DAL - NIKLAS GROSSMAN 1 (MIKE MODANO, BRENDEN MORROW) 15:13
    DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 7 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    15:50
    2ND PR

    May 12 9:40 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 3
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DET - JIRI HUDLER 3 (NIKLAS KRONWALL, DARREN MCCARTY) 11:54

    Red Wings 3, Stars 2  2nd - 8:06May 12 9:32 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    DALLAS 2
    2ND PRD: DAL - BRAD RICHARDS 3 (LOUI ERIKSSON, JOEL LUNDQVIST) 3:47

    Red Wings 2, Stars 2  2nd - 16:13May 12 9:13 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 2
    DALLAS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 6 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:27
    DAL - NIKLAS GROSSMAN 1 (MIKE MODANO, BRENDEN MORROW) 15:13
    DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 7 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    15:50
    SHOTS

    May 12 8:50 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 7 (TOMAS HOLMSTROM, BRIAN RAFALSKI) 15:50

    Red Wings 2, Stars 1  1st - 4:10May 12 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    DALLAS 1
    1ST PRD: DAL - NIKLAS GROSSMAN 1 (MIKE MODANO, BRENDEN MORROW) 15:13

    Red Wings 1, Stars 1  1st - 4:47May 12 8:42 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    DALLAS 0
    1ST PRD: DET - PAVEL DATSYUK 6 (HENRIK ZETTERBERG, BRIAN RAFALSKI)
    9:27

    Red Wings 1, Stars 0  1st - 10:33May 12 8:30 PM
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    Red Wings vs. StarsMay 12 7:27 PM
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    Red Wings vs. StarsMay 12 5:37 PM
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