Datsyuk dances with Corey Perry (AP)
There isn’t much that Pavel Datsyuk can not do. A seasoned veteran and four-time Lady Byng Award recipient, Dats has been a model of consistency for the Detroit Red Wings since the lockout. Our second straight Comrade of the Night from Yekaterinburg, Datsyuk’s skills were on full display in Detroit’s home opener against the Anaheim Ducks.
Five minutes into the 2nd period, he scored a trademarked Datsyuk goal – one that makes your jaw drop in amazement, “How did he just do that?” – to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead. Detroit’s top unit was seemingly able to skate circles around the statue-esque Duck defenders as partner-in-crime Henrik Zetterberg took the puck at the blue line and passed it rather innocently down to Datsyuk, who was parked several feet to the left of Jonas Hiller. Instead of taking the pass, Datsyuk somehow calculated the exact perfect angle to redirect the puck through Hiller’s 5-hole, leaving everyone at JLA clueless.
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(Courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
After reintroducing Ilya Kovalchuk to the media on Tuesday afternoon the New Jersey Devils discovered his 17-year $102 million dollar contract was rejected the NHL. Hours following the press conference TSN broke the news that the league claimed Kovy’s contract, that would keep him with the Devils until he was 44, was a circumvention of the collective bargaining agreement.
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In and after game 2, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar both sent a message to Detroit on and off the ice. First it was Malkin who decided to drop the mits with Henrik Zetterberg earning him a game misconduct for instigating. However his match penalty was overlooked by the NHL who decided not to enforce their mandatory one-game suspension on one of the games brightest stars.
On Monday, Gonchar told Sovietsky Sport that his team can play against the Wings system and win while stating the series is not over. In game 3, both players let their sticks do the talking propelling the Pens to a 4-2 lead and making the series worthwhile.
Malkin would assist on three of the four goals while Gonchar would give the Pens the game winner on the power play midway through the third. Gonchar would lead his team with 22:29 minutes of ice time and his goal came on his lone shot of the game.
Malkin assisted on the first three Penguins goals, giving him 33 points in 20 games, the most in the playoffs since Joe Sakic’s 34 in 22 games for Stanley Cup champion Colorado in 1996.
Below is Gonchar’s goal courtesy of the NHL.