As the injuries continue to mount for the Detroit Red Wings, it is becoming more and more important that the team get maximum effort each night from its players who are still in the lineup. The Red Wings got a big win on Saturday even without Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser or Jonathan Ericsson in the lineup, as they defeated the Dallas Stars 5-1. Captain Henrik Zetterberg had two goals in the win, as he continues to be in top form since returning from an injury that cost him 11 games. After starting out the season with 11 goals and 30 points in 28 games, Zetterberg was sidelined by a herniated disc. He has three goals and six point in the four games since returning, and on Saturday he stepped up in a big way to fill the offensive void created by Datsyuk’s absence.
Zetterberg’s first goal of the game came seven minutes into the first period, and helped swing momentum away from a Stars team that had all of the scoring chances up to that point. His second goal came just past the halfway point of the third period, and proved to be the exclamation point on a big offensive night for a team that has struggled to score. He leads the team with 36 points, and his 14 goals trail only Datsyuk’s 15 for the team lead in that category. In eight of his last 10 games, Zetterberg has recorded at least a point with five power play points in that stretch.
A reason for Datsyuk missing Saturday night’s game was never made clear, and it has not been announced if he will re-join the team for their next game. With a four-day break between games the Red Wings should be able to get healthy, and if Datsyuk remains out the chemistry Zetterberg is starting to establish with Daniel Alfredsson and Gustav Nyquist on the top line will be very important. Captains lead by example, and this season Zetterberg has been a great leader for his team when healthy.