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Day in the NHL: Henrik Zetterberg's hat trick lifts Red Wings over Blues

Published February 2, 2013 8:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Detroit • Henrik Zetterberg had his best game since the Detroit Red Wings came off consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup finals.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock isn't ready to say Zetterberg can make the rebuilding team a championship contender just yet, but he said it's too early to count out the Red Wings because of Zetterberg and fellow star Pavel Datsyuk.

Zetterberg matched a career high with five points — including three goals. He then set up Datsyuk's tiebreaking goal after David Backes was called for a match penalty at 9:38 of third period to help Detroit beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Friday night.

"I hear a lot about the things we don't have, but I don't know how many teams have Pav and Z," Babcock said. "And, that's a pretty good starting point for me.

"We're not going away here."

Detroit entered the season with predictions of its streak of 21 straight postseasons being in peril.

Seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and net-front specialist Tomas Holmstrom both retired, and key players Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler from last season are now playing elsewhere.

The Red Wings, though, showed they could skate and score with the talented Blues. St. Louis, which had won four straight, beat Detroit 6-0 in the opener.

Thornton out with concussion • The Boston Bruins say forward Shawn Thornton will miss 7-10 days with a concussion.

Thornton was injured in the first period of Thursday night's game against Buffalo when he fought with Sabres forward John Scott. He did not return.

Thornton has one goal and 25 penalty minutes this season. The Bruins recalled forward Jamie Tardiff from the AHL on Friday. Tardiff leads the Providence Bruins in scoring with 21 goals.