The Detroit Red Wings got two goals by Brendan Shanahan in the final five minutes of Saturday night’s matchup with the San Jose Sharks to lead them to a 7-6 victory. The second of the goals was Shanahan 99th career game-winning goal.
In a game that saw 13 total goals scored the first period was relatively tame, with each team scoring only once.
The Red Wings opened the game’s scoring just 2:14 in on a goal by Jason Williams. Williams had the puck behind the net and sent it to Robert Lang at the bottom of the right circle before looping around behind him. Lang couldn’t get a good shooting angle so he dropped the puck back to Williams, who ripped it into the net past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
San Jose evened the game with a power play goal 9:58 later. Marcel Goc fired a shot on net that Detroit netminder Chris Osgood stopped, put the puck bounced out past the top of the crease. Scott Thornton got tied up before he could get to the rebound but Alyn McCauley snuck in and knocked the puck past Osgood.
Six minutes into the second, Marco Sturm gave the Sharks their first lead of the game. After Osgood made a stop on Goc, defenseman Andreas Lilja attempted to clear the puck through the slot. Sturm was there to pick off the pass and send it past Osgood.
Just 1:58 later, Mathieu Schneider pulled Detroit back into a tie with a fluke power play goal. He fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Mark Smith before hitting Tom Preissing’s knee and going over Nabokov’s shoulder.
Schneider scored again 38 seconds later to put Detroit back in the lead. On a 4-on-2 rush, Lang carried the puck down the right side boards. Williams drove the net and drew a defender with him, leaving Schneider all alone to take a pass from Lang in the slot and one-time it past Nabokov.
The lead only held for 1:55, as Smith drove the net after Osgood made an initial stop on a McCauley shot, pushing the puck home before knocking the net off its moorings.
Mikael Samuelsson continued his hot streak, putting Detroit in the lead again 39 seconds later. On a rush with Schneider driving the net, Samuelsson ripped a shot from the right circle. Nabokov got enough of it to knock the puck into the air but it flipped over his head and into the net.
After a tame second half of the period, Detroit held a 4-3 lead going into the third.
Thornton tied the game 3:23 into the final period. On a delayed penalty to Detroit, Thornton got the rebound of a Nils Ekman shot and put it under Osgood.
Schneider completed his first career hat trick 3:14 later, scoring one a one-timer from the top of the right circle while the Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage.
Wayne Primeau, one of the players in the penalty box for Schneider’s third goal, scored while the Sharks were shorthanded to bring them into a tie. Just 1:18 after Detroit took the lead, the puck was chipped past the Wings defense and Primeau picked it up to skate in alone on Osgood. He rifled a shot over the goalie’s shoulder to knot the game at five goals apiece.
The Sharks took their second lead of the game with 7:11 remaining in the period on a 5-on-3 of their own. Preissing sent a pass from the goal line to Osgood’s right through the crease and to Goc on the far side, where he was free to put it in.
Shanahan’s first goal came 3:01 later, with the Red Wings on the power play. Williams carried the puck through the left circle and drew the defenders to him, before sending a pass over to Shanahan in the right circle, where he was all alone to put a one-timer past Nabokov.
With three minutes left in regulation, Shanahan scored again, deflecting the puck off the shaft of his stick while driving the net.
After all the special teams play, the Red Wings ended up going three-for-seven on the power play. San Jose scored on two of their eight chances.
Osgood stopped 27 of the 33 shots he faced, while Nabokov made 23 saves on 30 shots.
Detroit will complete their West Coast road trip Monday in Los Angeles.
Detroit captain Steve Yzerman did not play, he was reportedly “banged up” after Friday’s game in Anaheim. Mark Mowers took his place… Jim Howard was called up from Grand Rapids to back up Chris Osgood… Manny Legace is expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his MCL in his left leg… The Detroit Free Press reports that last Monday’s matchup with Nashville has been rescheduled for April 16, giving Detroit four games in as many nights. This was denyed by Detroit announcer Ken Daniels but NHL.com’s schedule confirms the Free Press report.