WASHINGTON (AP) -- One of Pavel Datsyuk's goals was a fluke. The rest of his
season sure isn't.
Datsyuk scored twice, including once when his pass was deflected in the net
by a defenseman, and had two assists in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-1 victory over
the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
"It's not by accident," teammate Brett Hull said. "He's a wonderful,
Datsyuk, who has already surpassed his career high in goals, got his 16th
when Washington's Jason Doig diverted Datsyuk's crossing pass into the open
side of the net. Datsyuk also assisted on goals by Kris Draper and Brendan
Shanahan and drew the assignment of shadowing Jaromir Jagr most of the game.
To cap off the night, the 25-year-old Russian, who was scoring on an
NHL-high 28.3 percent of his shots, scored a more conventional goal with a late
slap shot, prompting some encouragement from Hull on the bench.
"I told him, `Don't get satisfied. Keep working. You could lead this league
in scoring,"' Hull said.
Said Datsyuk, the NHL scoring leader with 37 points: "I really appreciate
his support. I'm a young player, and I need the help."
Jagr got around Datsyuk once to score the game's first goal, but otherwise
the Capitals managed only 19 shots in Glen Hanlon's second game as Washington
coach. Despite the margin of defeat, the Capitals didn't sag after falling
behind as they had in recent games.
"It's very tough to come back against Detroit, but it's going to be a long
process. It's not going to change overnight," Jagr said. "You can always take
positive steps from the loss. Hopefully, we're going to be OK."
The Capitals won Hanlon's debut on Thursday, one day after he was promoted
from assistant coach following Bruce Cassidy's firing.
"It was still an enjoyable night," Hanlon said. "When I took the job, I
said everyone's going to be sick of the word `process.' Even with five minutes
to go, I kept trying to tell the players that we've got about 150 periods
before April comes around, and every single minute counts. Let's keep proving
to everybody what we're all about."
The Red Wings have won seven of 10, scoring 46 goals over that span despite
the absence of nine injured regulars. Datsyuk, Shanahan, Draper and Hull are
among those who have picked up the slack.
Hull had two assists and a very embarrassment moment when he failed to get
off a shot on a penalty shot, losing control of the puck as he tried to deke
goaltender Olaf Kolzig.
"I lost it," said Hull, 0-for-5 on NHL penalty shots. "I could have
dumped it in the stands. He knew what I was doing before I knew what I was
Hull's miss in the second period kept the score at 3-1, but Jason Williams
made it a three-goal lead in the third period with his second goal of the
Jagr opened the scoring with a slick approach from the left, skating around
Datsyuk and lifting the puck just inside the far post. It was Jagr's 12th goal,
and he has points in 17 of 19 games.
The Red Wings tied it 18 seconds later on Draper's 13th goal, a drive from
the left circle to the stick side of Kolzig. Detroit outshot Washington 12-4 in
the first period.
The Red Wings took the lead for good one second after Jagr's tripping
penalty expired in the second period. The puck quickly moved from Hull to
Datsyuk to Shanahan for the easy shot.