With leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg sidelined by a sprained left knee, the Red Wings need Pavel Datsyuk to deliver in the playoffs. So far, he has, in a big way.
Through two games, Datsyuk has five points (two goals, three assists), 12 shots on goal, six takeaways and is 24-for-37 (64.9 percent) on faceoffs. He has been dominant at times and dazzling with the puck. He is the main reason the Wings have a 2-0 series lead over Phoenix heading into Game 3 Monday at Jobing.com Arena.
“It’s fun playing behind him and seeing what he’s doing, whether it’s one-on-one or one-on-two and he’s drawing players to him to find his teammates open,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “So he’s amazing with the puck and his work ethic is so high too.”
Datsyuk also is playing with grit. He’s delivered a big hit in each game.
The Coyotes haven’t had an answer for Datsyuk. They are hoping that returning home, where they will have the last line change, will enable them to get better matchups.
RED WINGS 4, COYOTES 3: The Wings jumped out to a 4-0 lead barely one minute into the second period, as they burned the undisciplined Coyotes for a pair of power-play goals. But then the Wings got careless themselves and started taking penalties. Phoenix began shooting the puck more on the power play, rather than looking for the perfect play. The Coyotes scored three times with the man advantage to make a game of it. The Wings held on in the last half of the third period.
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