Late Goal Lifts Red Wings into Series Tie with Sharks

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.

Sharks Blank Red Wings to Open Series

The San Jose Sharks took an early 1-0 series lead over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night, picking up a 2-0 victory in game one of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

The Sharks rode two quick first period goals to the victory and the Red Wings were never able to make up the difference.

Matt Carle got San Jose on the board on the Sharks’ lone power play at 9:45 of the first period. Joe Thornton got the puck down low near the right faceoff circle and sent a pass across the ice to a streaking Carle, who put a one-timer from the left circle past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

The Sharks extended their lead just 24 seconds later on a broken play. As the teams fought for the puck in the left circle, it squirted out into the skates of Mike Grier in the slot. Grier spun and whacked the puck on net, getting it past Hasek.

Detroit would dominate the play from then on out but couldn’t get on the board. After allowing ten San Jose shots in the first period, the Red Wings held the Sharks to only nine for the rest of the game. The Wings would end up with 34 shots but goalie Evgeni Nabokov stopped them all, as well as getting help from his team with 18 blocked shots.

The Red Wings look to even up the series on Saturday when they host the Sharks in game two.


Detroit was without forward Tomas Holmstrom (eye) and defenseman Brett Lebda (concussion/ankle). Neither player has set a return date.

Round Two Schedule Announced

With the Red Wings’ second round opponent still undetermined, the NHL announced the Conference Semifinal schedule today.

Detroit will open against either Dallas or San Jose at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday night. The full schedule is as follows:

Thursday: 7:30 vs. Dallas/San Jose
Saturday: 3:00 vs. Dallas/San Jose
Monday: 9:00 or 10:00 at Dallas/San Jose
May 2: 9:00 or 10:00 at Dallas/San Jose
x-May 5: 2:00 vs. Dallas/San Jose
x-May 7: TBD at Dallas/San Jose
x-May 9: TBD vs. Dallas/San Jose

The night games will all be covered by Versus while NBC will have the two Saturday afternoon games.

Lebda, Holmstrom Expected to Miss Game One

Ansar Khan blogs that Mike Babcock doesn’t expect defenseman Brett Lebda or forward Tomas Holmstrom to play in Game One against San Jose on Thursday.

Both are still recovering from injuries suffered over the weekend. Lebda’s ankle is still bothering him and Holmstrom’s eye still has blood in it.

With Lebda out, Kyle Quincey will get his second playoff start with the big club.

Less easy to determine is who will take Holmstrom’s spot with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Khan points out that most of the “usual suspects” are clicking with their current lines right now, so Babcock might not want to shake things up.

Wings to Face Sharks in Second Round

With Vancouver’s power play-fueled victory over Dallas tonight, they advance to play the Ducks in the second round, leaving Detroit to square off with San Jose.

The Wings’ schedule for the Western Conference Semifinals is now as follows:

Thursday: 7:30 vs. San Jose
Saturday: 3:00 vs. San Jose
Monday: 10:00 at San Jose
May 2: 10:00 at San Jose
x-May 5: 2:00 vs. San Jose
x-May 7: TBD at San Jose
x-May 9: TBD vs. San Jose

Flames Extinguished: Red Wings Claim Series Win on 2OT Goal

The Detroit Red Wings eliminated the Calgary Flames from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday, scoring at 4:23 of the second overtime period to wrap up the two teams’ Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup.

Detroit snapped a trend with the win. Prior to game six, the home team had won every game of the series. Calgary was unable to hold off a relentless Red Wings’ attack and finally fell on home ice.

Either the Dallas Stars or the San Jose Sharks will be Detroit’s next opponent. If Dallas wins their game seven matchup with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, they will advance to face the Wings. Should the Canucks win, they will play the Anaheim Ducks, leaving the Sharks to travel to Detroit.

Johan Franzen gave the Red Wings the win. Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom sent an outlet pass from the Red Wings’ blue line across the ice and off the boards for Franzen to pick up and carry into the Calgary zone. Franzen cut across the top of the right faceoff circle before blasting a shot from the slot over the shoulder of Flames’ netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

It was Franzen’s second goal of the playoffs, coming on Detroit’s 55th shot of the night.

Calgary got on the board first at 3:09 of the second period. Daymond Langkow threw a pass from behind the net out to Jarome Iginla, who reached to grab it with his stick at the top of the left circle and whip a shot past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek.

Robert Lang tied things back up with 3:07 remaining in the middle frame. Chris Chelios sent an outlet pass to Todd Bertuzzi along the right wing boards. Bertuzzi poked it along to Lang, who jumped into the Calgary zone and wristed a shot from the right faceoff dot between Kiprusoff’s pads.

Even with four minutes of power play time for each team in the first overtime, no one could put the puck home. Thoughtout the game both goalies made several key stops.

Hasek finished the night with 20 saves on 21 shots against. Kiprusoff made and incredible 53 saves on Detroit’s 55 shots.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had five attempts to do so while Calgary had four.


The Red Wings were without defenseman Brett Lebda for the game, out with a mild concussion and an ankle injury. Kyle Quincey was called up from Grand Rapids to take his place on the blueline… Tomas Holmstrom left the game in the first overtime period after taking a stick to the head from Craig Conroy, suffering a cut above the eye.