Pavel Datsyuk scored with 1:24 remaining in the third period Saturday afternoon, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks to tie their Western Conference Semifinal series at one game apiece.
Datsyuk’s goal was the first rebound goal of the series for Detroit. Mikael Samuelsson threw a shot on net from the left faceoff circle and Datsyuk was all alone to pick up the rebound at the top of the crease, with time to control the puck and lift a shot over a sprawling Evgeni Nabokov.
The Sharks had taken an early two-goal lead before the Red Wings fought back.
San Jose got on the board just 36 seconds into the game when a Kyle McLaren wrist shot from the blue line was deflected past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek by Jonathan Cheechoo.
At 4:17 the Sharks went up by a pair. Hasek tried to play the puck behind the net but sent it right out to Milan Michalek. Hasek couldn’t stop Michalek’s pass over to Joe Thornton, who fired the puck into the vacated net.
The two goals were the fastest scored against Detroit in playoff history.
Henrik Zetterberg started Detroit’s comeback with 2:30 remaining in the first period, throwing a shot on net from the left wing. It defelected off McLaren and past Nabokov for the Red Wings’ first goal of the series.
A shorthanded goal early in the third period evened things up. After a turnover by Bill Guerin just inside the San Jose zone, Kirk Maltby got the puck to Dan Cleary, who stepped into the high slot and ripped a shot off Nabokov’s shoulder and into the net.
After Datsyuk’s goal the Detroit forecheck kept San Jose from pulling Nabokov for an extra attacker until the final twenty seconds of the game. San Jose never got a chance to even things up.
Nabokov stopped 19 of the 22 shots he faced on the afternoon. Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots against.
Neither team scored on the power play. San Jose had six chances to Detroit’s three.
The series shifts to San Jose on Monday night for game three.
Detroit was without Tomas Holmstrom and Brett Lebda for another game. No timeframe is set for either player’s return.