Friday, February 17, 2012

Datsyuk burns Preds with dramatic game winner

Pavel Datsyuk is considered by many to be the best all-around player in the world. He proved it on Friday night against the Nashville Predators. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Nashville Predators by a 2-1 score on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena for their 22nd consecutive victory on home ice.

Detroit got on the board first on a what would have been a broken play for most other teams in the NHL. Datsyuk carried the puck in the zone and fell down along the boards. Shea Weber went over to try and take the puck from Datsyuk, who then proceeded to make a ridiculous pass to Todd Bertuzzi while laying down on the ice. Bertuzzi fed the puck ito the front of the net and Johan Franzen beat Pekka Rinne with the one-timer.

Nashville got on the board in the second period when Jordin Tootoo made a great no-look pass to Nick Spaling for the one-timer goal. Tootoo was able to force a turnover in the corner and then made a great feed to Spaling. Detroit goaltender Joey MacDonald had no chance to make the save, and the Predators tied the game at one heading into the third period.

In the final frame, the two teams traded chances back and forth in what seemed like a playoff-style game. However, the nightmare situation for the Predators became reality at 19:54 of the third period when Datsyuk broke in the zone and scored on a fantastic move. Datsyuk took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg and broke in with a 1-on-1 matchup with Ryan Suter. Datsyuk made a sensational move to beat Suter and fired a puck past Rinne for the dramatic game-winner.

There's simply not a better all-around player than Datsyuk in the NHL. He put the Red Wings on his back tonight and carried them to victory. His offensive skill with the puck is uncanny, and his defensive presence as a forward is unmatched.

Nashville will take on the Dallas Stars on Sunday at 6 p.m. in the Lonestar State. The Predators have been dominated by the Stars so far this year. Hal Gill is expected to make his debut as a Predator on Sunday in Dallas.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Pavel Datsyuk(DET)
2. Joey MacDonald(DET)
3. Pekka Rinne(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Joey MacDonald(DET)
2. Pekka Rinne(DET)
3. Pavel Datsyuk(DET)