Zetterberg Scores Quickly
DETROIT During Wednesdays morning skate, Red Wings associate coach Barry Smith said Zetterbergs minutes would be monitored closely in his return after a 21-game absence caused by a broken bone in his lower right leg.
Well see how it goes, Smith said.
It went well. In fact, it went better than expected.
Zetterberg had a hand in all of the Wings scoring, with a goal and two assists, in a 3-2 overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena. He took 27 shifts, in even-strength, power-play and penalty-killing situations, and his ice time totaled 19 minutes, 21 seconds, which is about a minute better than his season average. He also had three shots on goal.
Hes such a talented player, youd think the intention was to work him in slowly, said Brendan Shanahan, who got the winning goal after Zetterbergs beautiful, backhand, cross-crease pass with 1:09 remaining in overtime. But as it turns out, he plays close to 20 minutes and has a hand in every goal we scored tonight.
Zetterberg said he was happy with the points, but the most important thing to him was that he passed the test, physically, of playing a whole game.
It felt good, it felt good in my body, and thats the main thing, he said. The points, the scoring are good, but the biggest thing is my body and that my leg held up.
Zetterberg gave the Wings a 1-0 lead. Deep in the Sharks zone, he sent a cross-ice pass to defenseman Niklas Kronwall at the right point. Kronwalls shot hit Shanahan in the front of the Sharks net and the puck trickled to Zetterberg, who found a gaping hole to the right of Evgeni Nabokov.
It was nice to score after Ive been away for a while, Zetterberg said.