The Detroit Red Wings added win No. 22 to their all-time record home streak in about as dramatic a fashion one can ask for.
It looked like the Nashville Predators were going to force the game into overtime at 1-1 but Pavel Datsyuk had other plans. Nicklas Lidstrom sent a no-look pass to Henrik Zetterberg – who was doubtful to even play tonight – who then found Datsyuk with a lethal amount of room to score a beautiful winner with just five seconds left.
Datsyuk already generated an unusual point on Friday as he was credited with a second assist after he lost his edge and fell to the ice but managed to get the puck to Todd Bertuzzi, who helped Johan Franzen score the 1-0 goal. Nashville’s Nick Spaling seemed to collect the game-tying goal deep into the second period, but that was not to be.
A Fox Sports commentator described the scene in an interesting way: “It wasn’t a playoff game, but it was a playoff game’s cousin.”
Joey MacDonald allowed one goal on 21 shots for the second consecutive contest to win his fifth game in a row (and improve his 2011-12 record to 5-1-1). He’s been an interesting subplot to this run, as one cannot help but wonder if Ty Conklin will be the odd man out once Jimmy Howard returns to action.
That thought is probably pretty far from the minds of most Red Wings right now, though. The bottom line is that the historic streak is at 22 wins and familiar foe San Jose stands in the way of No. 23 on Sunday.
* Or tied the 1929-30 Boston Bruins’ unofficial mark, if you ask Mike Milbury.