–The Wings have been mediocre, at best, on the penalty-kill all season. But they feel it is getting stronger. They killed all four of their penalties on Saturday and allowed only four shots in the process. They did a good job pressuring the Blues in the neutral zone, denying them clean entries. And when St. Louis crossed the blue line, the Wings did not allow them to set up and sustain any kind of attack, winning puck battles to clear the zone.

–The Wings’ fourth line is providing energy and offense lately. Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and either Kris Draper or Drew Miller have been hard to play against. They’ve been physical, they’ve used their speed to forecheck hard and force turnovers, and they’ve chipped in some goals. Helm and Abdelkader both scored on Saturday.

“The stuff he can do with the puck is pretty amazing. When you’re out there with him or on the bench, you just kind of shake your head every now and then.” — Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall, on teammate Pavel Datsyuk.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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