Tomas Holmstrom capped a Red Wings’ comeback with 6:08 remaining in the third period Sunday night, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot to give Detroit a 4-3 lead over the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks had led the game, 3-1, just a minute into the third period before the Red Wings scored three consecutive goals to rally for the win. Detroit has now won two games in a row while facing elimination.
Devin Setoguchi started the game’s scoring with 2:42 remaining in the first period, deflecting a Dan Boyle shot from the blue line past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after a faceoff win by Joe Thornton in the Red Wings’ zone.
Joe Pavelski made it 2-0 with 4:28 left in the second tipping the puck past Howard from the top of the crease on a two-on-one with Ryane Clowe.
Just 53 seconds later, Niklas Kronwall responded for Detroit, snapping a shot from the right faceoff circle over Niemi off a feed from Pavel Datsyuk, getting the Red Wings on the board.
Logan Couture restored San Jose’s two-goal lead 54 seconds into the third period, skating in alone and backhanding a shot under Howard.
Detroit’s rally began with an unlikely source at 3:43 of the third. Just after the expiration of a power play, Jonathan Ericsson jumped into the slot and snapped a loose puck past Niemi to make it 3-2.
Danny Cleary jammed a puck home from the side of the net at 5:29 to tie things up.
Datsyuk started the play on the game-winner, spinning in the left circle to protect the puck before getting it out to Lidstrom up high. Lidstrom’s blast was tipped past Niemi by Holmstrom from right in front of the net, giving the Red Wings their first lead of the game.
Howard stopped 39 of the 42 shots he faced in keeping the Red Wings in it early and holding the lead late. Niemi made 18 saves on 22 shots for the Sharks.
Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had two tries with the extra attacker and San Jose had four.
Game Six will be at 8:00 PM on Tuesday from Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit’s healthy scratches were Mike Modano, Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl… Bothered by a sore ankle, Johan Franzen played only 9:19 and did not see the ice after the midway point of the game.