Marian Hossa once again proved his worth as he scored with 55 seconds left in a tied game to put the Red Wings up 3-2. The goal sealed the deal for the 50th win of the season and a much needed win following three straight L's.
Jiri Hudler opened the scoring for the Wings at 11:21 of the 1st with a one time shot past Backstrom on a pass from Zetterberg. Hudler showed his great sense of rink awareness by positioning himself in the low slot and waiting for Zetterberg to make a play to him. It was his 23rd of the season.
Pavel Datsyuk added another goal for the Wings, his 32nd, on an excellent play. Pavs outwaited Backstrom while skating across the front of the goalmouth and backhanded one top-shelf at the last moment, putting the Wings up 2-0. The Wings would not escape the first unscathed though as a failed clearing attempt by Chris Osgood landed right on the stick of enforcer Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck, who leads the league in hits, showed his quick thinking and fired the puck on net while Osgood was still in motion back to the crease, 2-1 Wings after 1.
Marian Gaborik tied the game late in the second period on a scramble in front of Ozzie's crease. Bodies were everywhere but Gaborik somehow squeaked the puck through the mess and made it 2-2 going into the final period.
Enter Marian Hossa. Hossa had 5 shots on goal during the game and added an assist on Pavel's goal. That wasn't enough for him though and he showed why he's the $7M man. Datsyuk passed to Holmstrom who brought it into the offensive zone and dropped it off to Hossa. Marian wasted no time snapping a shot past Backstrom for his 38th of the year and the late Detroit lead.
The Wings outshot the Wild 44-23 and Osgood stopped 21 for his 25th win of the year. Osgood made some great saves and maybe it came by way of extra confidence after Babcock named him the starter for the playoffs.Both teams stayed out of the box, only 8 total minutes during the game.
Player of the game: I'll have to give this to Datysuk and Hossa. Both had incredible goals and an assist each. Hossa with the slight edge for his +2. Other candidates are Hudler and Zetterberg, who registered 9 shots on goal and an assist.
Other notes: It was good to see Chris Chelios (or as I affectionately call him-Methuselah) playing and skating so well before the playoffs. He will be needed big time in the run to the Cup with Lilja being injured and Rafalski having some problems.
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