By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings (47–15–9) dropped to a two-goal deficit 4:42 into the second period against the Philadelphia Flyers (37–22–10), causing some concern among Wings fans watching the game. However, Detroit kept at it and scored three unanswered goals to win their third straight game, 3-2, in front of quite a lively St. Patty’s Day crowd. The victory also kept the Wings home unbeaten streak over the Flyers alive. The last time Philly beat Detroit at the Joe was Nov. 4, 1988.
Detroit first got on the scoreboard at 17:27 in the middle frame. Pavel Datsyuk‘s wrister from the left faceoff circle magicly found its way into the upper left corner of the net and injected some hope to the crowd. It’s amazing how many different ways Datsyuk can find to amaze you and tonight’s game was no exception.
Johan Franzen earned his second offensive point of the night 9:47 into the third period when he scored on a one-timer from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Datsyuk was the one who masterfully set up Franzen on the effort by making a slick move around a Flyer before dishing a well-placed, cross-ice pass to the Mule.
A minute and 32 seconds later, the Wings did it again. This time, it was Henrik Zetterberg who posted the goal which ended up the game-winner. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson had brought the puck into the Philly zone, before sliding the puck to Mikael Samuelsson skating up along next to him near the boards. Sammy made a cross-ice feed of his own to Zetterberg, who was stationed near the left face-off dot. Hank held onto the puck for a moment before firing a blast, beating Martin Biron to win the game. All in all, the game would’ve been a much different story without the superb goaltending effort from the Flyers’ Biron, who made 45 saves in the loss.
The game marked Kris Draper‘s 1,000th game wearing the Winged Wheel. However, the ceremony before Tuesday night’s game was to honor Kirk Maltby‘s 1,000th career NHL game that occured earlier this season. Wings’ netminder Chris Osgood also reached a milestone, passing former teammate and mentor Mike Vernon on the all-time wins list.
The Wings won’t play until Friday when they take on the Thrashers in Atlanta.