The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday night, dropping a 2-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks.
The win gave the Sharks a 4-1 series victory, advancing them to the Western Conference Finals to face either the Chicago Blackhawks or the Vancouver Canucks.
For the third time in the series, the Red Wings scored first.
Brian Rafalski blasted a shot from the blue line past San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov through a screen from Todd Bertuzzi at 2:40 of the second period, putting Detroit on the board.
The Sharks responded quickly, with Joe Thornton getting his stick on the rebound of a Jason Demers shot and putting it past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard on a power play just 2:14 later.
Thornton helped put the Sharks into the lead at 6:59 of the third, stealing the puck from Brian Rafalski behind the Red Wings’ net and sending a pass out to Patrick Marleau for a one-timer past Howard.
That would be enough for San Jose, with the Red Wings unable to tie the game while skating six-on-four in the game’s final minute.
Thornton’s power play goal was the lone tally with the extra attacker. Each team had four tries.
Howard stopped 30 of 32 shots on the night. Nabokov made 33 saves on 34 shots.
The Red Wings were without forward Patrick Eaves for the fourth consecutive game… Detroit dressed seven defenseman as the status of Brad Stuart was unknown until the pregame skate.