Henrik Zetterberg put on a show, recording five points as the Wings exploded in the third period and rallied to defeat the rival St. Louis Blues 5-3 in Detroit on Friday night.
The first period featured goals-a-plenty and some momentum shifts to boot, as is standard in any great rivalry. Captain Henrik Zetterberg scored twice in the frame, once on a five-on-three power play and again on a breakaway which was set up by a beautiful Jonathan Ericsson pass (you can see the end of the goal in the image above). The Wings were up 2-0 and everything was peachy. And then the Blues fought back. Kevin Shattenkirk scored on a power play to cut the lead in half and the momentum shift was complete when Matt D’Agostini beat Jimmy Howard glove-side on a breakaway few moments later. After one, the score was 2-2.
The Blues continued their barrage on Howard in the second period and took a 3-2 lead on a Patrik Berglund power-play tally a few minutes in. St. Louis dominated the period; even the Wings’ multiple power play opportunities resulted in Blues opportunities. The Wings looked tired, frustrated, and disheartened while the Blues gained strength and dictated the flow of the period. They led 3-2 after two.
Detroit came out in the third period an energized side, and it paid off as Jonathan Ericsson scored less than five minutes into the frame to tie things up. Midway through the period Blues captain David Backes was hit with a match penalty for a blow to the head of Kent Huskins (Backes did not hit Huskins in the head but rather around the sternum), putting the Wings on the power play for five minutes. The Magic Man Pavel Datsyuk scored about halfway through this powerplay to give the Wings the lead once again, 4-3. Things got tense at the end, but Zetterberg did what captains do: scored a clutch shorthanded empty-netter to complete the hat trick with 12 seconds left. Final score: Red Wings 5, Blues 3. Henrik Zetterberg was named first star after recording a five-point night.
For the Red Wings, this was a win of massive importance. With the state of the team right now, the short-handed Wings pulled out a comeback win that took character and guts to complete. Zetterberg once again displayed that he is a world-class player and put the team on his back. And after getting embarrassed by this same Blues team on opening night, the Wings couldn’t afford to squander an early advantage and fall further behind in a shortened season. The rivalry continues.