Pavel Datsyuk played the way he’s capable of Thursday night in a 3-2 overtime victory for the Detroit Red Wings over the Calgary Flames. Datsyuk did what he does best in getting the offense going. He didn’t score a goal, but he assisted on each one and the Red Wings broke a six-game winless streak.
He’s had to step up considering the NHL team has six of their regular forwards out of the lineup for injury and health reasons. Datsyuk was more than happy to take charge on Thursday against the Flames and get the job done.
But if the Wings are going to take this game and run with it, Datsyuk will need to keep supplying as much firepower as possible. Now’s not the time to let up. Injuries have taken their toll and Daniel Alfredsson had to come through with his eighth and ninth goals of the season, set up by Datsyuk both times.
Prior to Thursday’s game, Datsyuk was missing in action and hadn’t scored in four straight outings. That was a mild cause of concern, but Datsyuk showed Thursday he was back with it. That’s what the Red Wings need to see. He can’t endure any more slumps if this team is going to stay competitive.
In the first 30 games this season, he has 13 goals and 15 assists. His playmaking has been down a little. In 47 total games last season, he had 15 goals and 34 assists. He’s likely to easily surpass both marks this season, but the assist mark right now is definitely low. That’s why the Red Wings coaches were happy with what they saw Thursday.