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Henrik Zetterberg's Game Winner: Watch the Setup Happen

Henrik Zetterberg has seven points in three games to start the season. He looks as energetic as ever out there on a line with Justin Abdelkader and Dylan Larkin. Point number seven came on the play you see above thanks to a beauty feed by Dylan Larkin.

But I want to show you how about 60 seconds worth of work by more than one line helped set this whole thing up.

First off, we'll start with a bit of context. The Wings started the third period nursing a one-goal lead and had to kill off 1:54 of a penalty to start the period. After doing so, they went shorthanded again on a Riley Sheahan high-sticking. Fortunately, the PK came up even more impressive than the previous one. Just after killing off the Sheahan penalty, Detroit got a PP of their own where they started to turn momentum.

After a decent-looking PP ended, the Wings sent out their fourth line to hold momentum. That's where we'll start off. A dump-in gets the Lightning a breakout chance, but not much of one once Glendening catches up to Stamkos in the neutral zone.

It's such a simple play, but Glendening getting back to disrupt Stamkos prevents him from getting the puck deep. Glendening angles Stamkos into the boards, Tomas Jurco seals off the play (and Alex Killorn) further down the boards, and Drew Miller prevents the play from moving to the inside of the ice until Glendening can push the puck up ice.

From here, Drew Miller does a great job of chasing down the play to make sure it gets all the way down ice so his linemates can change. Check this out:

Miller chases Nesterov all the way back behind his own goal and then hits him coming up the half-wall to force a pass. By this point, Henrik Zetterberg has already gotten on the ice and is now involved in the play creating trouble. As Miller skates off to get Abdelkader in, you can see Dylan Larkin coming into the play to keep the potential breakout away from the middle of the ice. Hank forces the Bolts to try to start the breakout from behind Bishop's net, but Hedman tries to take a shortcut and that bites him.

Instead of trying to rim it around the boards to Stamkos, Hedman tries a shortcut directly to him to keep Quincey from pinching in. Unfortunately for Hedman, he doesn't count on Larkin being that fast and picking it off. Larkin immediately tries to feed it to the slot only to have it blocked. Thankfully, Larkin's speed means he's the first guy back on it. As Stamkos tries to jump down on him, Larkin is able to easily feed it up the boards to Quincey at the point with room.

Quincey first feints to the middle to keep his man honest and buy himself a little time and then throws it to the front of the net knowing Abdelkader is there for a redirect attempt. This little shimmy by Q prevents the shot/pass from getting blocked. Abby tips it on Bishop only to have it saved off to the corner where Zetterberg is ready to swoop in and pick it up. By this point, the Tampa defense is completely on their heels and are starting to get confused about coverages. Zetterberg keeps enough distance away from the boards to be a credible threat to come off the half-wall, which freezes Killorn enough to give Hank a lane to hit Brendan Smith jumping into the play for a great shot attempt that Bishop again saves.

Smith follows up his shot because Zetterberg is covering him at the point. Nesterov and Killorn pin Smith to the corner while Abby hangs out just to the inside hoping for a puck. Killorn abandons the chance of getting it up the boards to push it back low to Hedman. As the Tampa defender runs behind his own net, he's again set upon by the speedy Larkin forcing a play. This time, Hedman gets it up to his man with a soft backhand saucer pass, but Filppula is moving the wrong way and by the time he gets turned around, he has Larkin and Abdelkader closing on him and his shift is getting long.

Filppula goes for the easy clear attempt by bouncing it up the boards around Abdelkader. Quincey prevents this easily and holds it at the blue line.

This time, Quincey doesn't have the time to shimmy to the middle and wait for traffic because Filppula is bearing down on him hard. Instead, he recognizes that Nesterov and Hedman are trying to cover the same area and dumps it softly back into the corner knowing that Larkin is the only person nearby. The space Larkin gets allows him to pull the puck off the boards and face back towards the goal before Stamkos can get anywhere near him. Abdelkader goes to the net, again causing the two defensemen to cover the same spot. By the time Killorn realizes nobody is in the slot to cover Zetterberg, Larkin has already threaded a pass through Stamkos. Bishop has no chance on what would become the game-winner as Hank snipes it.

The highlight video shows you the end result of all the hard work, but there were 60 seconds of game action that led directly to this goal. This goes to show how well the Wings played and also how good Tampa is. Hockey is a game of split-second decisions and it took more than a minute to break their defense thoroughly enough to get the goal (the Smith chance notwithstanding). Diligent backchecking, good defensive structure, and then tenacious, layered forechecking all combined to set the Wings up for Victory.