The Detroit Red Wings scored two first-period power play goals Monday night but could manage nothing else against the San Jose Sharks as they dropped a 5-2 decision at Joe Louis Arena.
It was just the team’s second home regulation loss of the season.
An apparent goal by Valtteri Filppula was waived off minutes later but officials blew the play dead as the puck slipped under Niemi, before it rolled out from under him and into the net.
With Detroit’s momentum halted Joe Thornton got the Sharks on the board while shorthanded.
Playing the point on the power play, Jiri Hudler pinched in to swat at a loose puck but Dany Heatley got it past him. Heatley and Thornton went in on a two-on-one, with Heatley passing across for an easy goal by Thornton with 4:01 remaining in the period.
Niclas Wallin’s shot from the point at 4:53 of the second was deflected past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to tie the game back up and Logan Couture put the Sharks out front eight seconds later, snapping a shot from the left circle past Howard.
Heatley scored on another two-on-one with 1:03 left in the period, this time keeping the puck and snapping it past Howard from the right faceoff circle.
Couture’s second of the night wrapped up the game’s scoring as he tipped a Ryane Clowe pass in behind Howard with 8:43 to play.
Niemi stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, with only 11 of those saves needing to come in the second and third periods. Howard made 30 saves on 35 shots.
Detroit scored on two of their six power plays and allowed one shorthanded goal. The Sharks were scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.
The Red Wings are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.