Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 5/11/13
Detroit_red_wings_6636
Henrik Zetterberg saved his best game of the series for an elimination game, showing his strength as a new captain. (Beauty Playin’ Eh, Flickr) With his team’s back firmly implanted against the wall in game six, Detroit Red Wings’ captain Henrik Zetterberg hadn’t yet found the scoresheet himself. On Friday night, that changed in a big way, evoking definite memories of Steve Yzerman. With two goals including the overtime winner, Zetterberg was bound and determined to will his team to victory. As Yzerman so often did, Zetterberg likely didn’t lead with many pre-game words, but rather his actions on the ice. With the score tied at one in the third period, Zetterberg got Detroit’s woeful home power play off the mat with a huge blast from the left side. It was the captain’s first meaningful offensive play in the series, and gave the Red Wings’ entire lineup a definite boost. Meanwhile, his defense continued to be outstanding. After the wheels had careened off in the third, everyone, from fans to the janitors to the concession workers were panicking. Everyone had lost their cool except Zetterberg, of course. El capitano wasted little time rescuing his needy team. After a beautiful fake, Zetterberg hammered a shot from the left side of the ice low, handcuffing Jonas Hiller, who never saw the shot. Just 1:04 into overtime, the Red Wings were heading back west for a game seven, where, as both Zetterberg and Yzerman can attest, anything could always happen. It was his watershed moment as captain. Yzerman’s, of course, came in 2002 with his Red Wings facing a seemingly insurmountable 0-2 hole on the road in Vancouver. Yzerman opened the scoring in pivotal game three, and also contributed an assist. Another identical two point effort in game four helped even the series. Yzerman, as everyone remembers, was literally performing on one leg, with knee injuries threatening to cripple him. The Red Wings wouldn’t face a sticky situation again until game six in Denver, where Yzerman’s assist helped set up the ice breaker. Though they’re separated by a decade and different teams, these situations are different yet entirely similar. In Zetterberg’s first major test as captain, he willed his team to a victory, much like he willed them into the playoffs against plenty of late season odds. It was the best kind of leadership; quiet and by example. If Detroit can be buoyed by one thing in game seven, it’s that their leader refused to let his team die when giving up seemed like an easy choice. With the concept of momentum now null and void, game seven is anyone’s to win or lose. Certainly, given the unpredictable nature of this series, the Red Wings could emerge victorious for the first time in regulation. The Anaheim Ducks, boosted by home ice, could also beat Detroit. Either way, given what we’ve learned about Zetterberg’s leadership down the stretch, nothing about Sunday night should be considered a complete loss. Defeat would be frustrating to the fans, but building blocks do exist. Regardless of the final score, the Red Wings have found Yzerman’s clone. The transition that looked uncertain months ago has steadily found its way. Learning that on a night in which the season was on the line is Zetterberg’s proudest accomplishment as captain to date. If Zetterberg wills this particular team further, it will only help aid in the creation of his own legacy. Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Red Sox

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker