The Detroit Red Wings scored early and never gave up the lead Friday night, en route to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Valtteri Filppula’s first goal of the season put Detroit on the board just 1:23 into the game.
Filppula passed the puck off to Mikael Samuelsson in the Detroit zone and Samuelsson carried through neutral ice before breaking across the blue line and pushing it back over to Filppula. Filppula cut in on San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov and lifted a backhanded over his glove into the top of the net.
With 4:29 remaining in the period, Filppula would get on the scoresheet again, assisting on a tally by Andreas Lilja.
Filppula gained the San Jose zone and cut over to the right circle before spinning to drop the puck to Lilja, who rifled a shot from the high slot over Nabokov’s glove.
The Sharks would try to get back into the game in the second period, with Rob Davison providing energy in the form of a fight with Aaron Downey. San Jose just couldn’t get anything going and it would be the Red Wings who scored next.
Only 39 seconds into the third period, a Nicklas Lidstrom blast was knocked down at the top of the crease, deflecting straight to Tomas Holmstrom. Holmstrom banged the puck at the open net, deflecting it off of Henrik Zetterberg and in.
Zetterberg would notch another one at 8:12 of the period. Pavel Datsyuk drew three San Jose defenders and Nabokov to him cutting through the left circle. As the skaters converged, the puck squirted out to Zetterberg for another wide-open net.
Backup Dmitri Patzold replaced Nabokov in net but he would allow a goal on just the second shot he faced, with Kirk Maltby lifting the rebound of a shot by Kris Draper into the net just 22 seconds after Zetterberg’s goal.
An apparent sixth Detroit goal was called back after a goaltender interference call on Tomas Holmstrom. The Sharks scored their lone goal of the game on the ensuing power play.
San Jose’s power play goal came on one of their two chances with the extra attacker. The Red Wings were without a goal on their six power plays.
Chris Osgood stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings. Nabokov made 26 saves on 30 shots against while Patzold went eight-for-nine.
The Red Wings begin a three-game Western Canada road trip on Sunday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks.
The lost Detroit goal was the fourth goal of the season called back due to a Holmstrom goaltender interference call… Henrik Zetterberg has a point in every game this season… After the game, Russian forward Igor Grigorenko refused his reassignment to Grand Rapids and left the team.