DETROIT – Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings finally found a way to shake off the rallying Anaheim Ducks.
Zetterberg had three goals and two assists in the Red Wings’ 7-4 victory on Saturday night. The game featured eight goals in a seesaw third period. Anaheim tied the game three times and the Red Wings regained the lead three times.
“It was pretty crazy back and forth,” said Zetterberg, who scored all his goals in the third period for his fourth NHL hat trick. “Too much back and forth. But we won the game. That was most important.”
It was the first meeting between the teams since Detroit beat Anaheim in a seven-game, second-round playoff series in the spring.
Dan Cleary added a goal and two assists, and Brian Rafalski had a goal and an assist for Detroit. Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm also scored, and Jimmy Howard made 19 saves.
“I thought we could have wore that team out. We didn’t do that,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We let them back in the game. In the end we found a way to score enough goals to win.”
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and three assists, Corey Perry had a goal and an assist, and Bobby Ryan and Joffrey Lupul also scored for Anaheim. Jonas Hiller made 30 saves.
“We got ourselves back up with them a few times but they kept bumping back up,” Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said.
Zetterberg put Detroit ahead for good with 4:31 left, netting his second of the game. He beat Hiller with a one-timed slap shot from the right faceoff dot.
“He kind of took over,” Detroit defenceman Niklas Kronwall said. “He’s been playing really strong for us of late and he had some chances early. He stuck with it and he really came through when we needed him the most.”
Zetterberg’s winning goal came seconds after Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne hit the crossbar at the other end.
Helm added a goal with 2:15 left, and Zetterberg capped his hat trick with an empty-netter, his eighth goal this season.
“That’s why they’re a great team year in and year out,” Lupul said. “They know how to win those tough games.”
The Ducks capitalized on a turnover by defenceman Jonathan Ericsson to make it 2-1 at 8:12 into in the second period. Ericsson’s pass from behind the net was intercepted by Getzlaf at the goal line. He then set up Perry in the slot for his 13th goal.
Two power-play goals gave Detroit a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Cleary opened the scoring with 6:28 left in the frame. He deflected in a shot out of the air with the shaft of his stick after Kronwall’s drive from the point went off Anaheim defenceman James Wisniewski. It was Cleary’s fourth goal.
Rafalski scored with 44 seconds left in the period on a one-timed slap shot from the high slot, off Niedermayer’s stick, for his second goal.
Notes: Detroit G Chris Osgood and LW Kirk Maltby both missed their second game because of the flu. … Anaheim C Saku Koivu missed his third game with a groin strain. C Ryan Carter sat out a second game with a bruised foot. … Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom received a gift from the NHL in a pre-game ceremony for reaching 1,000 points. … Wisniewski is from the Detroit suburb of Canton and played junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers, who are based in suburban Detroit. … Perry (9-7-16) and Getzlaf (2-17-19) each extended their point streaks to 11 games. Getzlaf stretched his franchise-record assist streak to 10 games (17 assists).