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Bertuzzi’s Return Sparks Red Wings in Win Over Wild

January 26th, 2013 at 3:33 PM
By Frank Vajcner

Through the first three games of the Detroit Red Wings' season, they had only mustered four goals. 

Friday night against the Minnesota Wild, they more than equaled the season total by scoring five en route to a 5-3 victory.

Most of the scoring was credited to the return of winger Todd Bertuzzi, who had missed the first three games with the flu, scoring two of the Wings' five goals.

It wasn't all Bertuzzi though, as red-hot rookie Damien Brunner started the scoring with a power play goal 13 seconds into the second period. Brunner raced down the right side of the ice, received a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Henrik Zetterberg, and fired a shot past Wild goaltender Josh Harding for his second goal of the year.

"That's why they signed him, to shoot the puck like that," Bertuzzi said of Brunner's goal.

The goal ended an 0-for-17 power play drought to start the season for the Wings. The Los Angeles Kings are the only team to not score a power play goal yet this season.

It took only 42 seconds for Bertuzzi to get in on the scoring, as he deflected a shot from Valtteri Filppula past Harding 54 seconds in the second.

The Wild would not back down, as Zach Parise scored a power play goal at 2:49 to cut the deficit to 2-1. Tom Gilbert tied the game at 6:29 as he beat Jimmy Howard with a slapshot.

The Wings would retake the lead for good during a change. Zetterberg had just hopped off the bench and was all alone on the left side. Pavel Datsyuk then dished to Zetterberg in stride, who then would slip the puck past Harding for his first goal as the Red Wings' captain at 12:56.

Datsyuk added another power play goal at 17:24. He also assisted on Bertuzzi's second goal at 4:18 of the third.

“We just needed a win, man,” Bertuzzi said. “We need wins. I don’t think it’s anything other than that. I think our power play kind of got us going and it’s a momentum-builder, and it’s also a drainer when it’s not going, so I thought the first unit did a really nice job of getting it going.”

Parise scored his second of the game at 10:18 to put the margin at 5-3.

Howard made 23 saves in the win. Harding finished with 22 saves, including denying Danny Cleary on a breakaway in the third.

"That's still an elite team, especially when you give them space with the puck," Harding said of the Wings. "They've got a lot of guys who can score when they get a chance."

NOTES: The Red Wings outshot the Wild 27-26 for the game…Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader and Wild defenseman Justin Falk dropped the gloves at 8:47 of the third.

THREE STARS:

  1. DET Pavel Datsyuk (Goal, 2 Assists)
  2. DET Todd Bertuzzi (2 Goals)
  3. MIN Zach Parise (2 Goals)
Tags: Damien Brunner, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg, Hockey, Jimmy Howard, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi

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