Without two-thirds of their top forward line, the Detroit Red Wings still shut down the Minnesota Wild Saturday night, winning 4-1 while outshooting them 51-19.
The 51 shots were a season-high for Detroit.
Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik, who scored five goals on Thursday against the New York Rangers, tallied only one assist and was -2 with two shots.
Gaborik’s point came on a Kim Johnsson power play goal with nine seconds left in the second period. Gaborik sent a cross-ice feed from the right wing to Johnsson for a shot into the top of the net.
The goal made cut Detroit’s lead to 3-1.
Detroit got on the board with a power play goal at 6:57 of the first period. A Valtteri Filppula shot into the top of the net was knocked down by the stick of goalie Niklas Backstrom, sprawled out on the ice. Pavel Datsyuk was on the doorstep, though, and banged in the rebound.
Second-period goals just 45 seconds apart gave the Wings a 3-0 lead.
With 4:46 left in the period, Johan Franzen carried the puck behind the net for a wraparound attempt, coming out wide and using defenseman Sean Hill as a screen. Backstrom came off the near post and Franzen fired a shot into the top corner.
Dan Cleary scored Detroit’s second of the period on a long outlet pass from Nicklas Lidstrom. With the Wild pushing into the Detroit zone, Lidstrom grabbed the loose puck and flung it out to Cleary, behind the Minnesota defense in the neutral zone. Cleary caught up with it at the Wild blue line and broke in on Backstrom alone, snapping a shot past him.
Tomas Kopecky wrapped up the game’s scoring at 9:59 of the third period. Brian Rafalski threw the puck on net and Backstrom couldn’t control the rebound. Kopecky fought off a defender to get to the puck and shovel it into the net.
Backstrom finished the night with 47 saves to Dominik Hasek‘s 18.
Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had seven chances with the extra attacker and Minnesota had two.
The Red Wings will be back on the ice after the holiday break, meeting the Blues in St. Louis on Wednesday night.
Mark Hartigan, who was planning to travel to Minnesota over the holiday break anyway, was called up from Grand Rapids to fill in for the injured Zetterberg… Kirk Maltby was also still out of the lineup… Cleary and Filppula replaced Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg on Datsyuk’s line.