Zetterberg returns from injury to lead Wings past Panthers


Henrik Zetterberg didn’t wait long to make an impact in his first game back from injury.

Zetterberg scored a goal in the first period to lift the Detroit Red Wings over the Florida Panthers 4-3 on Saturday night.

Zetterberg returned after missing 11 games with a herniated disk in his back. Zetterberg leads the Red Wings with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists).

“It was nice after a little break here to come back and get a good start. We got two points and we won,” Zetterberg said.

Gustav Nyquist, Brendan Smith and Daniel Alfredsson also scored for Detroit.

Jonas Gustavsson stopped 30 shots. Pavel Datsyuk had two assists.

The Red Wings were happy to have their leading scorer back.

“It’s huge. Hank brings so much to this team, both on and off the ice,” Nyquist said. “With him and Pav (Datsyuk) playing you can really feel the difference. That’s why they’re our leaders.”

Sean Bergenheim scored two goals and Nick Bjugstad also scored for Florida. Scott Clemmensen made 27 saves for the Panthers.

The Red Wings have won three of four and beat the Panthers for the first time in three games this season.

“We won three out of four here suddenly and some things are better,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

The Panthers lost their third straight game.

“We showed a lot of battle,” Bjugstad said. “We fought back and worked hard. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”

With the game tied 2-2, the Red Wings scored twice in the first 1:20 of the third.

Smith one-timed a shot from the right circle that went over Clemmensen’s head to give Detroit a 3-2 lead at 42 seconds of the period. The goal was Smith’s first of the season in 30 games.

Nyquist poked in a rebound 38 seconds later that stretched the lead to 4-2.

Bergenheim’s second goal of the game made it 4-3. His shot from the high slot went five-hole on Gustavsson at 4:27. Bergenheim earned his second two-goal game this season. The other was on Nov. 25 against Philadelphia.

“It doesn’t really mean anything. Disappointment is what’s on everybody’s mind right now,” Bergenheim said.

Devils 2, Islanders 1

In Uniondale, New York, Cory Schneider stopped 30 shots, and Travis Zajac scored the go-ahead goal with 6:57 left when the puck deflected in off him as New Jersey beat the Islanders.

Senators 4, Bruins 3

In Ottawa, Bobby Ryan scored with 4:35 left to help the Senators edge Boston.

Canadiens 2, Lightning 1 (SO)

In Tampa, Lars Eller scored the lone shootout goal, and Carey Price stopped all three shots he faced in the tiebreaker.

Ducks 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)

In Anaheim, Saku Koivu scored two goals, including the winner 51 seconds into overtime, to lift the Ducks to their 10th straight victory.

Blues 6, Blackhawks 5 (SO)

In St. Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrik Berglund scored 1:17 apart late in regulation to tie it and Kevin Shattenkirk netted the deciding goal in the fifth round of a shootout.

Predators 3, Kings 2

In Nashville, Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the game with 26.4 seconds left.

Flyers 4, Oilers 3 (SO)

In Edmonton, Michael Raffl scored the winning goal on his first career shootout attempt, and Philadelphia overcame an early deficit to beat the Oilers.