The Red Wings continued their dominance of the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena with a 6-3 victory in the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Wings were led by Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk who each had two goals.
The teams skated to a scoreless first period with Wings shutting down four power play opportunities for the Flyers. The Wings also held the Flyers top line of Peter Forsberg, Simon Gagne, and Mike Knuble without a shot in the period.
At 13:20 of the second period Datsyuk put the Wings on the board first. While on the power play Zetterberg made a cross crease pass to Datsyuk who was positioned just off the right post.
The Flyers tied the game at 16:45 of the second with a power play goal of their own. Gagne was left alone between the circles and put a wrist shot past Manny Legace after a pass from Forsberg in the left circle.
The Wings scored two goals in the first 46 seconds of the third period. The first came only 14 seconds in when Chris Chelios found himself alone in the right circle after Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby forced a turnover while killing off Robert Lang’s hooking penalty from late in the second. Then Pavel Datsyuk played a give-and-go with Brendan Shanahan skating on his right and took the pass in the slot to beat Flyers’ goalie Antero Niittymaki.
The Flyers pulled within one at 4:06 with a goal from Dennis Seidenberg, taking a shot from above the left circle, which was tipped by Andreas Lilja.
Zetterberg put the Wings up by two again at 8:37. Zetterberg had misfired on a shot just left of the goal from a feed by Pavel Datsyuk in the right circle. Zetterberg then gathered the puck along the boards and banked it off the back of Niittymaki’s legs.
The Flyers again pulled within one goal of the Wings, this time by a goal from Gagne at a tight angle at 10:33. Forsberg had controlled the puck behind the net and passed to Gagne just below the left circle.
Zetterberg scored his second goal from the left slot at 11:09 of the third period off a pass from Datsyuk which was close to a mirror image of Datsyuk’s first goal in the second period from Zetterberg. Then Robert Lang added the Wings sixth goal at 14:10 off a pass from Steve Yzerman on a 2-on-1.
Each team scored on one of their power play opportunities. The Flyers had six and the Wings had four. Antero Niittymaki faced 41 Red Wings’ shots, making 35 saves, while Manny Legace made 17 saves on 20 shots by the Flyers.
The Wings next face the New York Rangers at the Joe on Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers have not won at Joe Louis Arena since November 4, 1988 … Steve Yzerman recorded his 1051st assist, passing Gordie Howe for 7th place on the NHL all-time list. Yzerman is now only 29 assits behind Adam Oates who is 6th on that list.