The Red Wings and San Jose Sharks gave their leads over the Central and Pacific Divisions a slight boost, skating to a 2-2 tie.
The first period was full of penalties and stoppages in play which disrupted the flow of the game. The Red Wings and the Sharks had three minor penalties apiece, but neither team was able to score on the power play or at even strength.
The second period looked to continue in the same choppy style as the first, until over half of the period was gone. Niklas Sundstrom was in the penalty box for high-sticking. Steve Yzerman carried the puck back into the zone and to the right corner after a clear by the Sharks, then passed to Brett Hull coming behind. Hull blasted a one-timer past goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff to give the Red Wings the lead and break a slump of twenty-six power plays without a goal.
San Jose had their chance for a power play goal when Darren McCarty was serving a high-sticking penalty. Gary Suter fired the puck from the left point, and Adam Graves was in place to deflect the shot between Dominik Hasek’s legs.
The Sharks used the momentum from their power play goal to take a one-goal lead into the intermission. Hasek had gone behind the net to play the puck, but Mark Smith stole the puck away and passed it out front to Matt Bradley. Bradley was able to get the puck into the net before Hasek was able to get back to block.
After taking a lead, the Sharks went on the defensive, trying to tie up the neutral zone and keep the Red Wings from getting the puck near Kiprusoff.
Despite the Sharks’ best efforts, the Detroit offense found a way through, and Hull tied up the game for the Red Wings 8:52 into the third period. Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff just outside of San Jose’s blue line, and carried the puck into the zone. Hull took Datsyuk’s drop-back pass and lifted a wrist shot past Kiprusoff.
Both sides played a strong game thereafter, each hoping to be the one to score and keep the game from going to overtime. The goaltenders, however, were not prepared to let any more pucks past them. Hasek and Kiprusoff both made some great saves to keep the game tied at two.
Detroit started the overtime with over a minute of a four-on-three penalty remaining from a late third period interference call on Brendan Shanahan. They killed off the penalty, but neither side was able to score in the five minute period.
Shots on net were thirty-one to twenty-nine in favor of San Jose, and both teams went one for six on power play chances. The Red Wings play their next game Friday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.