By Ashley Dunkak

CBS DETROIT – Through the first six games of the first-round series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning, two star players have been noticeably quiet.

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Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos, who turned in 43 goals and 72 points in the regular season, has been held scoreless this series, though he contributed two assists in Game 2 and another in Game 6.

Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg, for years one of the great players in the league, has also been held scoreless. He too has three assists this series – one in Game 3, one in Game 4, and one in Game 5.

Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said Monday night, after the Lightning staved off elimination with a 5-2 win in Game 6, that Zetterberg’s lack of goals did not surprise him.

“It’s the playoffs,” Babcock said. “In the series except for Game 2 and Game, this was 6 tonight, there was no space, period. And those two games, I thought we gave them opportunity. They haven’t done that for us. We’re not that type of team. We don’t create separation like they do with speed, and so there’s not a lot space for Z .

“He’s been very good, very determined, playing hard, hasn’t scored,” Babcock added. “The good thing about him, he does lots of other things and we don’t have to worry about that.”

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Zetterberg said earlier this month that he was disappointed in his performance this year. He had 17 goals and 66 points in the regular season, but he brushed off questions about his health.

“This time of year you’re very seldom 100 percent,” Zetterberg said April 7, “but you should be able to do more than I have done.

“There are some games where I think I’m playing close to my standard,” Zetterberg added, “but too many games here lately I haven’t.”

After making those remarks, Zetterberg contributed two points in each of the team’s last two games of the season, playing a significant role in pushing the Red Wings to their 24th straight playoff berth.

Detroit’s leading scorer in the regular season was forward Tomas Tatar, who had 29 goals. He scored twice Monday. The Red Wings had some solid scoring chances in Game 6, as the team went on seven power plays, but they took advantage of only one of them.

“We’ve got to be better,” Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist said. “We did a lot of good things drawing those penalties, I think, but once we get those opportunities we’ve got to be able to capitalize.”

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Game 7 is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.