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Zetterberg's big night helps Wings outlast Ducks

by John Kreiser / NHL.com

Henrik Zetterberg kept scoring until the Anaheim Ducks ran out of comebacks.

Zetterberg had a third-period hat trick and added a pair of assists for a career-high five-point night as the Red Wings held off the Ducks 7-4 on Saturday. It was the first meeting between the teams since Detroit eliminated Anaheim in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series last spring.

"It was pretty crazy back and forth," Zetterberg said after a game that featured eight third-period goals, five by the Wings. "Too much back and forth. But we won the game. That was most important."

The Wings led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, only to see the Ducks tie the game each time before Zetterberg put Detroit ahead for good with 4:31 left in regulation, beating Jonas Hiller with a one-timer from the right faceoff dot for his second of the night.

"He kind of took over," Detroit defenseman 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."

Darren Helm gave the Wings some breathing room when he scored with 2:15 left, and Zetterberg capped his hat trick by scoring into an empty net with a second left -- the last of the eight goals in a final period that saw the Ducks tie the game three times only to have Detroit take the lead again.

"I thought we started really well tonight and we could have worn this team out," Wings coach Mike Babcock said, "but we didn't stay with it. We let them back in the game."

Zetterberg's line was buzzing through the first two periods, though they weren't rewarded until the final 20 minutes.

"I had a lot of chances -- I think I had five shots in the first (period) on one shift," he said. "I've just to keep going. I got two nice passes from Clears (linemate Dan Cleary and they ended up in the net."

Ryan Getzlaf was involved in all four Anaheim goals, scoring once and setting up the other three -- producing the kind of game that Babcock doesn't want to see very often.

"In the end, we found a way -- Z's line was great -- to score enough goals to win. I like winning, but that's not the way we want to go about our business."

It was Zetterberg's fourth career hat trick and first since March 19, 2008. The five points were a career high.

"Any time we're playing the players in the League who are dominant players, whether it's (San Jose's Joe) Thornton or Getzlaf, Z always lifts his game, and he did tonight," Babcock said.

It was the Ducks' third loss in four nights on their road trip -- and left captain Scott Niedermayer lamenting his team's inability to get over the hump.

"We got ourselves back up with them a few times but they kept bumping back up," Niedermayer said.

The Wings led 2-0 after one period on power-play goals by Dan Cleary and Brian Rafalski.

The Ducks made it 2-1 when they capitalized on a turnover by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson 8:12 into in the second period. Ericsson's pass from behind the net was intercepted by Getzlaf at the goal line, and he set up Perry in the slot for his 13th goal.

Then the goals really started coming. Getzlaf and Perry set up Bobby Ryan's goal at 3:47 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2, only to see Pavel Datsyuk put Detroit back in front at 5:17. Joffrey Lupul beat Jimmy Howard 69 seconds later to tie the game again, but Zetterberg's backhander past Hiller made it 4-3 at 9:10.

Getzlaf's power-play goal with 5:33 remaining in regulation tied the game for a third time, but after Teemu Selanne hit the crossbar, the Wings came back and Zetterberg scored on the return rush to put them ahead to stay.

"That's why they're a great team year in and year out," Lupul said. "They know how to win those tough games."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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