Zetterberg Leads Red Wings’ Rally Past Hurricanes

Henrik Zetterberg scored the first two goals for Detroit on Saturday night, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The win snapped Detroit’s six-game losing streak and coincided with the return from injury of defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings were down 4-1 when Zetterberg scored his second of the night. With 3:02 left in the second period, Zetterberg took a feed from Valtteri Filppula and snapped a shot from the high slot off Carolina netminder Cam Ward‘s mask and into the net, through a screen by Jiri Hudler.

Just 18 seconds later, Todd Bertuzzi batted the fluttering rebound of a Gustav Nyquist chance out of mid-air and past Ward to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to a single goal.

At 8:10 of the third, Filppula banked the puck off the side of the net and out to Brad Stuart just inside the blue line. Stuart’s shot deflected first off Hudler in front of the net, then off defender Jay Harrison before trickling across the goal line to tie the game.

With 8:25 left in regulation, Drew Miller gave the Red Wings their first and only lead. The Hurricanes won a faceoff in their own zone but Cleary knocked the puck loose to Miller, who went to the front of the net alone and beat Ward on the backand to make it 5-4.

Carolina had opened the scoring just 17 seconds into the game, when Jiri Tlusty threw a backhander from down low on the right wing towards the Detroit goal. The puck deflected off defenseman Ian White‘s stick and went over the shoulder of goalie Ty Conklin to give the Hurricanes the early lead.

Another quick goal made it 2-0, with Chard Larose scoring just 26 seconds into the second period. Larose was left alone in the left corner of the Detroit zone and he cut to the middle to take a pass from Eric Staal before beating Conklin.

Zetterberg scored his first of the night to halve Carolina’s lead at 5:10 of the second. Zetterberg threw the puck to the net from the right circle and it deflected off defenseman Bryan Allen to get past Ward.

A pair of power play goals gave the Hurricanes their 4-1 lead. With 4:22 left in the second period and a single second left on a five-on-three, Jamie McBain rifled a shot from the top of the left circle past Conklin. Tlusty got in behind Kyle Quincey and tapped in a chance from the edge of the crease just 17 seconds later.

Those two goals were the only power play goals by either team on the night. Each team had two tries with the man-advantage.

Conklin finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots, with the Red Wings holding the Hurricanes to just three shots in the third period. Ward stopped 45 of Detroit’s 50 shots on the night.


With Lidstrom and Kindl returning to the lineup, Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch. The Red Wings reassigned him to the Grand Rapids Griffins after the game. Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald remain injured for Detroit.

Postgame: Hurricanes @ Red Wings – 3/24

There were a lot of players who made tonight’s win happen, a very solid overall effort, but I’ll be damned if Henrik Zetterberg didn’t put the team on his back tonight and carry them when they needed it most. I said it over Twitter (all of my commentary tonight was on Twitter, sorry about that forum users), he knows the playoffs are coming.

That said: Drew Miller. Does the guy score any goals that aren’t clutch? He’s got 14 goals this season and 4 are game-winners.

Speaking of trends, Todd Bertuzzi really does love the atypical goals. Spinoramas and batting it out of the air are kind of becoming his thing.

I love the fact that the Wings competed all night. Effort.

With Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl back, the blue line seemed much more calm. Brendan Smith was returned to the Griffins after the game as the defensive corps will be 100% healthy once Jonathan Ericsson returns (supposedly on Monday).

With all the good things, there were a couple bad notes.

Really disliked Ty Conklin on the first goal against. He was down early and leaning off the post. Yeah, the shot ramped up on him, but that was an awkward position to try to make a stop from.

Danny Cleary‘s penalty to give the Hurricanes a five-on-three was pretty boneheaded. His decline in play could be related to the knee injury that I’m sure he’d be resting if Johan Franzen (and Pavel Datsyuk before him) weren’t hurt.

Speaking of boneheaded… Tomas Holmstrom gets checked into Cam Ward and then called for goalie interference. What a joke.

But a big win anyway, putting the Wings back of the Blues by six points. No games in hand but the next two for Detroit are against Columbus and there’s one more matchup between the Wings and Blues this season, so there are points to be had.