The Detroit Red Wings rallied from two goals down to force overtime Wednesday night, then scored with 3:56 remaining in the extra period to earn a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks and even their Western Conference Semifinal series at two wins apiece.
Mathieu Schneider scored the game-winning goal for the Red Wings on their lone power play attempt of the extra frame.
San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan attempted to clear the puck from the side of the net up the middle of the ice and Schneider knocked it down, settling it for a blast on net that deflected off a defender and under the crossbar.
Detroit forced overtime when Robert Lang scored with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.
Rookie Valtteri Filppula carried into the San Jose zone along the left wing and pushed a pass off to Lang, who skated to the top of the left circle and blasted a shot through goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
Tomas Holmstrom, playing in his first game of the series after suffering an eye injury in overtime of Detroit’s series-clinching win against Calgary, got the Red Wings on the board with just 5 seconds remaining in the second period.
With the Red Wings starting a power play in the San Jose zone, Henrik Zetterberg won a draw back to Schneider at the blue line, who moved it to Nicklas Lidstrom for a shot on net that was blocked into the air. Holmstrom batted the puck in behind Nabokov to cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1.
The Sharks got on the board with 2:08 remaining in the first period when Todd Bertuzzi lost the puck along the right wing boards in the Detroit end. Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton combined to get the puck to Jonathan Cheechoo on the far side of the ice for a one-timer past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.
A fluky goal by Marcel Goc extended the Sharks’ lead at 8:07 of the second. Goc put a shot on net from the right wing boards that deflected off the head of Red Wings’ defender Andreas Lilja before floating over Hasek and into the net.
All of Detroit’s goals came with an extra attacker. Holmstrom and Schneider scored on two of the Red Wings’ five power play attempts and Lang’s marker came with Hasek on the bench for a sixth skater.
The Sharks were held without a power play goal on five tries.
Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots against on the night. Nabokov stopped 46 of 49 shots against.
The series now shifts back to Detroit for game five on Saturday afternoon. Game six will be on Monday night from San Jose, while a possible game seven would be in Detroit next Wednesday.