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Cullen: Datsyuk drives Red Wings' comeback

Scott Cullen
5/8/2011 11:44:32 PM
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The Detroit Red Wings may be the vampires of the Stanley Cup playoffs and the San Jose Sharks haven't been able to drive the stake through their hearts that will finish them off.

When the Sharks took a 3-1 lead early in the third period of Game Five, it appeared as though the Wings might have been on their way to elimination, but then the Red Wings turned up the heat and rallied to come back.

Playing with a bad wrist, that prevented him from taking any face-offs, Datsyuk had three assists and was plus-2.  The three assists gives Datsyuk 13 points, tying him for the playoff lead. 

Datsyuk's inability to take faceoffs put a lot of responsibility on Henrik Zetterberg, who took 25 of 59 draws, winning 64%.

As long as the Wings' best players are able to raise their games with the season on the line, the Wings are going to be tough to finish off.

On the other hand, the other Red Wings forward that was considered a game-time decision, Johan Franzen, ended up playing only 9:19, missing the second half of the game.  Franzen is questionable for Game Six in Detroit, but head coach Mike Babcock says that the decision will be Franzen's.  It figures that Franzen is playing hurt, since he has yet to record a point through five games in this series.

Jimmy Howard was outstanding in goal for the Wings, stopping 39 of 42 shots, the fourth time in the series that he's stopped at least 34 shots.

San Jose had four players -- Dan Boyle, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi -- with six shots on goal.  The last three were the Sharks' goal scorers in Game Five. 

The Sharks defence pairing of Ian White and Niclas Wallin each took a minus-3 for the game.

Heading home for Game Six, the Wings have an opportunity to push the Sharks to the limit, though it's worth noting that Detroit had a better record on the road (26-11-4) than at home (21-14-6) this season, so maybe home-ice isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

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