The Detroit Red Wings have managed to win five of their last six games despite seeing injuries claim star forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, as well as depth center Darren Helm and young defenseman Danny DeKeyser. The Red Wings headed into December knowing that they needed to have other step up and cover for their missing players, and Tomas Tatar is one of those who has risen to the task. In three December games, the young winger has caught fire and has scored three goals while collecting five points.
Those three goals have brought Tatar’s season totals to six goals and 13 points, putting him sixth on the team in both categories. He was kept on the sidelines at the start of the season due to a logjam of forwards on Detroit’s roster, but he now continues to show he deserves a spot in the lineup. Tatar was the AHL playoff MVP last season, scoring 16 goals in 24 postseason games to help the Grand Rapids Griffins capture their first-ever Calder Cup championship. He’s shown an ability to play on any line he is put on, and as of late has been great on the power play. As the Red Wings look to keep things on track when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, they’ll hope Tatar finds continued chemistry on the third line with Joakim Andersson and Drew Miller. Andersson and Tatar each had a goal in Friday night’s 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, and the former AHL linemates will try and come through again tonight.