“Well, it was a tough one and I thought we recovered pretty good,” said Jiri Hudler
, regarding the Jets’ early goal. “We got on our horse. We knew they played last game yesterday and they got here really, really late … actually this morning almost. We just kept talking about how we had to keep putting pressure on their D and try to be really physical.”
The Wings put on a dominate 59-minute performance and cruised to a 7-1 win with 14 different skaters collecting at least a point at Joe Louis Arena.
And Hudler and Valtteri Filppula
were a couple of the Wings’ catalysts.
Last year at this time, Hudler had six points in his return to the Wings after spending the previous season in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. This season Hudler, who had two goals against the Jets, has stepped up his game, scoring six goals with 12 assists – which is 12 more points than he had at this point last December.
Hudler gave the Wings a 3-1 lead in the second period. His goal was one of two in the second period that resulted in a line change with a Wings’ forward jumping into the play late and catching the Jets’ defense sleepwalking.
Trailing the play, Hudler jumped off the bench on a line-change when Johan Franzen
, who was positioned behind the Jets’ net, threaded a perfect pass to Hudler, who uncorked a hard wrist shot from the left circle that beat goalie Ondrej Pavelec high to the glove side at 4:03.
Filppula’s 10th goal of the season came in a similar fashion as Hudler’s first. As Pavel Datsyuk
drove the right wing along the half wall drawing the Jets’ defense with him, the Wings’ center whistled a hard backhand pass to Filppula in the slot. And Filppula made no mistake, firing a one-timer high on Pavelec that gave the Wings a 5-1 lead.
“It’s like he has eyes in the back of him,” Filppula said of Datsyuk’s play. “For sure, he can make real nice plays and he had a really good sense of where everybody is so that's one of his best things.”
It was a dominating performance by the Wings, who had 14 different skaters with points, including six guys – Datsyuk, Hudler, Zetterberg, Filppula, Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi
– with two-points each. And that’s coming off of Thursday’s 5-2 win against Phoenix where 10 different skaters had points.
The Wings capped the scoring with the lone third-period goal when Hudler made another pretty play. This time he intercepted a pass by Dustin Byfuglein, which was intended for Kyle Wellwood deep in the Jets’ zone. Hudler stepped in front of the pass and swiftly sent it to Zetterberg in the slot, and passed it quickly back to Hudler, who buried his second goal of the game.
“He's a great player and he's been playing real well,” said Filppula, referring to Hudler. “Hank in the middle played really well, gave him a real nice pass today for a goal as well. But it's good. It's fun to play with those guys.”Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill