Pavel Datsyuk's sore wrist prevented him from taking faceoffs, but it didn't stop him from taking control of the game with his team's season on the line. Datsyuk was dominant for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, picking up three assists and making a great play to facilitate Tomas Holmstrom's winning goal in a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks. "He's been great all playoffs. He's our driving force. He's got a lot of will in him," teammate Danny Cleary said. "He's so determined to make the play and he never gives up. "He's got great strength on the puck, he's physical, steals pucks, it's hard to get it away from him. He's a real inspirational player for us." With Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals tied at 3-3, Datsyuk out-battled Patrick Marleau for the puck along the boards and then fought off a check from the struggling Sharks forward to pass to Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom's shot was tipped in by Holmstrom with 6:08 remaining in the third period. "He just plays with that determination, that you can't take that puck away from him," Lidstrom said. "It's great to see he's skating hard with the puck, too, whether it's forechecking or back-checking he's just relentless out there." Datsyuk downplayed his injury, which likely happened in Game 4, when he took only three faceoffs. He is the team's best faceoff man.
'Relentless' Pavel Datsyuk inspires Red Wings teammates with dominant Game 5
Michigan Live | May 9