Lidstrom, Zetterberg and Datsyuk Join Coach at All-Star Game

By Bill Roose

Credit: Getty Images

Lidstrom, Zetterberg and Datsyuk Join Coach at All-Star Game

January 20, 2011 The Red Wings’ hot first half start to the season was rewarded by the fans with an NHL-best three starters named to this season’s All-Star Game in Atlanta on Jan. 27.

Led by five-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, who is making his 10th appearance and eighth start, the Wings will also have center Pavel Datsyuk and left wing Henrik Zetterberg in the starting lineup for the Western Conference at Philips Arena.

It’s the first time since 2002 that the Wings have been represented by at least three starters in the All-Star Game. In the old World vs. North America forward, the Wings’ starters were Lidstrom, Dominik Hasek, Brendan Shanahan and Sergei Fedorov. Defenseman Chris Chelios also played in that game.

The Wings’ mark for most players in an all-star game is six, done in 1951, 1953 and 1957.

The Western squad will be led this month by coach Mike Babcock, who earned the honor by way of the Wings’ best overall record through the first 41 games.

The league’s hockey operations department, in conjunction with league general managers, will round out the complete All-Star rosters, which will be announced on Thursday (Western Conference) and Friday (Eastern Conference).

It's possible that the Wings could add two more players to the Western roster with goalie Chris Osgood and defenseman Brian Rafalski. Osgood, who has a 19-2-1 record, continues to lead the league in goals against average (1.68) and save percentage (.932).

Rafalski has been a tremendous performer -- especially in the power play -- since joining the Wings as a free agent during the off-season. He's second among defensemen in scoring with 36 points. He also ranks fourth in league power play points with 21.

The Wings entered Tuesday’s home game against the Colorado Avalanche with a league-best 32-8-3 record for 67 points.

Detroit boasts one of the best special teams units in the league. They are ranked second in power plays, having scored 46 goals in 197 chances (23.4 percent). The Wings are also fifth at killing penalties, allowing 27 goals on 199 situations (86.4 percent).

Individually, Zetterberg and Datsyuk are in the top 10 amongst scoring forwards with 54 and 52 points respectively. Lidstrom is tops among defenseman with 40 points and leads the league with a plus-34 rating.
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