Helm’s Late Goal Keeps Red Wings Alive Against Sharks

Darren Helm scored with 1:27 remaining in regulation Friday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks and forcing a Game Five in their Western Conference Semifinal series.

The Sharks lead the series, 3-1, and could have finished the Red Wings off in Game Four.

After a faceoff in the San Jose end, Brian Rafalski held the puck in and fired a shot on goal from the right point. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made the stop but the rebound came out to Patrick Eaves in the right faceoff circle, who pushed it across to Helm in the left circle for a wrister past Niemi.

The tally made up for a first-period turnover by Helm, leading to San Jose’s first goal and the start of a comeback after Detroit took a 3-0 lead in the first period.

With 1:44 left in the first, just 15 seconds after the Red Wings extended their early lead to 3-0, Helm turned the puck over to Ryane Clowe at the Detroit blue line. Clowe carried the puck down low along the left wing boards and threw it on net. Logan Couture got a piece of it on the way through and it trickled through Jimmy Howard‘s pads to make it 3-1.

Dan Boyle pulled the Sharks to within a single goal with 6:16 remaining in the second, slipping past Jiri Hudler into the right circle all alone, then taking a pass from Kyle Wellwood and snapping a shot past Howard.

Just 1:14 into the third, Dany Heatley beat Howard from the top of the crease off a pass from Clowe to complete the comeback, but the Sharks would be unable to pull ahead.

Todd Bertuzzi had opened the game’s scoring at 6:22 of the first. Bertuzzi carried the puck into the San Jose zone and spun around Heatley at the top of the left circle before backhanding a shot that deflected and fluttered past Niemi.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 8:51 left in the period, blasting the rebound of a Danny Cleary shot by Niemi.

Lidstrom’s second of the night made it 3-0 with 1:59 left in the opening frame. In the closing seconds of a Detroit power play, Henrik Zetterberg pulled the puck out of a scramble around the front of the net and brought it to the left circle. He sent a high pass out to Lidstrom in the right circle, who knocked it down off his knee and then whacked a shot out of mid-air on Niemi. The puck bounced off the ice and skipped past the San Jose goalie.

Lidstrom’s second was the lone power play goal of the night. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while San Jose had two.

Niemi made 36 saves on 40 shots on the night. Howard stopped 25 of 28 shots.

The two teams will meet in San Jose for Game Five on Sunday.


Mike Modano, Drew Miller and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Red Wings Down 0-3 in Series with Sharks after OT Loss

For the second consecutive postseason, the Detroit Red Wings blew a third-period lead in Game Three of a Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the San Jose Sharks, falling in overtime and dropping to 0-3 in the series.

Last season, Patrick Marleau scored in overtime to give the Sharks a 3-0 series lead. Tonight it was Devon Setoguchi completing the hat trick to give San Jose a 4-3 win.

Joe Thornton gained the Detroit zone down the right wing and stepped around defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, slowing up to drop a pass to the top of the right faceoff circle. Setoguchi got to the puck and flung a shot that deflected off the stick of Henrik Zetterberg and past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard at 9:21 of the extra frame.

Dan Boyle had tied the game up with 4:08 remaining, pinching in to the slot and taking a blind backhand pass from Kyle Wellwood, snapping the puck past Howard.

Setoguchi had opened the game’s scoring with 7:03 left in the opening period. With San Jose on the power play, Joe Pavelski‘s shot went off the glass and bounced to Thornton. Thornton threw it to the front of the net highm with Setoguchi knocking it down into his skates and then whacking it into the net.

Nicklas Lidstrom tied things up, getting Detroit on the board with a power play goal of their own. With 22 seconds left in the first, the Sharks were scrambling in their own zone. Henrik Zetterberg got the puck in the left faceoff circle and sent a between-the-legs pass to Lidstrom for a one-timer from the slot past the sprawling Antti Niemi.

Patrick Eaves made it 2-1 with 6:01 left in the second period, backhanding a loose puck into the open side of the net after Darren Helm lost it on a wraparound attempt.

Setoguchi’s second tied things back up just 50 seconds later. On another San Jose power play, Setoguchi’s stick broke on a one-timer from the left circle but the off-speed shot slid past Howard, who was moving laterally to cut off the expected hard shot.

Pavel Datsyuk put Detroit back out in front with 1:43 left in the middle period, snapping a shot from the left circle past Niemi.

Each team scored twice on four power play tries on the night.

Howard stopped 34 of the 38 shots he faced while Niemi made 38 saves on 41 shots.

Game Four will be Friday night in Detroit.


Kris Draper was inserted into the Detroit lineup, replacing Drew Miller.

Pregame Notes: Sharks @ Red Wings – Game Three

I’m going to make a prediction. I never make predictions out of superstition but this time I’m breaking that rule.

If the Red Wings win Game Three and Game Four, they’ll win this series.

No, Detroit has not played well in the first two games against the Sharks. Yes, Jimmy Howard has had to bail them out a bit. That said, San Jose hasn’t been spectacular either.

Antti Niemi has allowed only two goals but I’m not sure he’s had to face a shot off a rebound all series. San Jose has scored a power play goal, a goal that may have well been a power play goal (that also came on a bounce off a defenseman), another PPG, and a goal off a fluky bounce.

The Sharks are definitely controlling the puck but they haven’t been dominant, either.

Detroit has shown at times that they can flip the switch. If they do it tonight, this is an entirely different series.

There don’t appear to be any lineup changes for San Jose. For the Wings, Drew Miller is out in favor of Kris Draper.

Game time is 8:00. TV is weird for this one; FSD locally with Versus joining the game in progress after the Bruins and Flyers. Center Ice and GCL will have the game in full, supposedly for free.

Red Wings Drop Game Two to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings dropped to 0-2 in their Western Conference Semifinal matchup with the San Jose Sharks Sunday afternoon after a 2-1 loss in Game Two of the series.

The Red Wings failed to get any sustained pressure until a power play late in the game.

Henrik Zetterberg scored with 6:02 remaining in regulation, beating goaltender Antti Niemi from the slot off a feed from Pavel Datsyuk. The goal got the Red Wings on the board but despite a late push, wouldn’t be enough.

Ian White had opened the game’s scoring just 4:54 into the game, blasting a shot from the high slot past a screened Jimmy Howard for a power play goal.

Niclas Wallin extended the San Jose lead at 1:39 of the third period when his shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went off of Howard’s shoulder and flipped into the net.

The Sharks carried play for most of the game, with Detroit relying on Howard to keep them in it. Howard made 35 saves on 37 shots while Niemi stopped 33 of 34 chances.

Each team scored a power play goal. The Red Wings had six tries with the extra attacker and San Jose had five.

The teams will meet for Game Three in Detroit on Wednesday.

Red Wings Drop Game One to Sharks in OT

The Detroit Red Wings took a 1-0 lead into the third period Friday night but it wasn’t enough, as the San Jose Sharks rallied for a 2-1 overtime win.

Benn Ferriero scored 7:03 into the extra period, making the most of his first career playoff game.

The Red Wings failed to clear their own zone after killing a four-minute power play, leading to Ferriero getting the puck along the left wing boards. He threw it on net and it deflected off of Brad Stuart‘s stick, bouncing past Jimmy Howard to give the Sharks the win.

Joe Pavelski had tied the game up with 9:38 left in the third period, batting the rebound of a Joe Thornton shot out of the air and past Howard on a San Jose power play.

Detroit’s lone goal came 9:30 into the first period, when Nicklas Lidstrom snuck into the high slot to take a feed from Pavel Datsyuk and blast a shot past Antti Niemi.

Niemi finished the night with 24 saves on 25 chances while Howard stopped 44 of San Jose’s 46 shots.

Pavelski’s goal was the only power play marker of the night. The Sharks went one-for-six with the extra attacker. The Red Wings had two power play opportunities.

Game Two betwen the teams will be Sunday afternoon.


The Red Wings played with a healthy lineup for the first time all postseason. The scratches were Mike Modano, Kris Draper, and Jakub Kindl.

Pregame Notes: Red Wings @ Sharks – Game One

The Detroit Red Wings end come back from eight days off to visit the San Jose Sharks in Game One of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup tonight.

Detroit last played on April 20, when they finished off a first-round sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes. The Sharks completed a 4-2 series win over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

Henrik Zetterberg will return to the Red Wings’ lineup, having recovered from his sprained left MCL during Detroit’s time off. Johan Franzen is also expected to play after missing Game Four against Phoenix with a sore ankle. Mike Modano and Drew Miller are the probable healthy scratches up front, with Jakub Kindl remaining the odd-man-out on defense.

Much is being made of San Jose’s scoring depth but Matt Saler points out that the Sharks had only 10 different goal scorers in their six first-round games, while Detroit had 13 scorers in four games.

The Sharks could be facing a goaltending controversy, as Antti Niemi was pulled twice in the first round while earning a 3.99 GAA and .863 save percentage. Detroit’s Jimmy Howard had a 2.50 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

FSD and Versus have the Game One TV coverage, with the game set to start at 10:00 PM.

Power Play Goals Not Enough For Wings in Loss to Sharks

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.

Tomas Holmstrom redirected a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi at 7:48 of the first to open the game’s scoring.

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.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings back in front 2:36 later, scoring from an acute angle on a nice passing play from Brian Rafalski and Holmstrom.

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.

Red Wings End Regular Season with OT Win over Blackhawks

Brad Stuart scored 3:11 into overtime Sunday afternoon, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the host Chicago Blackhawks.

The win locked the Red Wings into the Western Conference’s fifth seed and a first-round matchup against the Phoenix Coyotes while preventing the Blackhawks from moving up to the conference’s top spot.

Stuart’s goal came after Henrik Zetterberg made a strong individual effort to gain the Chicago zone and draw three Blackhawks to him. He then passed across to Danny Cleary in the right faceoff circle, who centered the puck to a streaking Stuart to snap past netminder Antti Niemi.

Chicago had opened the scoring with 5:04 left in the first period. Jonathan Toews drove the net from the left of goalie Jimmy Howard and cut across the crease. Dave Bolland came in from Howard’s right and banged home the rebound of Toews’ chance, just 11 seconds into a Blackhawks’ power play.

The Red Wings tied things up 5:01 into the second, when Patrick Eaves corralled the rebound of a chance by Cleary, knocking in a bouncing puck.

Tomas Holmstrom deflected a Brian Rafalski shot at 7:10 of the third to put Detroit up by a goal but Colin Fraser redirected a Marian Hossa shot past Howard with his skate 3:34 later to tie things back up.

Chicago’s opening goal was the only power play goal of the game. The Blackhawks had four tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had two.

Howard made 27 saves on 29 shots for his 37th win of the season. Niemi stopped 18 of 21 Detroit shots.

Five-Goal Second Period Carries Red Wings over Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings rode five second-period goals to a 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday afternoon, bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit and holding off a third-period comeback by Chicago.

The Red Wings got goals from Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Lidstrom, Jason Williams and Valtteri Filppula in a 6:15 span and one more from Pavel Datsyuk in the final seconds of the middle frame.

Rafalski put Detroit on the board at 4:12 of the second, blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Chicago netminder Cristobal Huet while the Wings skated with a four-on-three advantage.

Just 28 seconds later Lidstrom tied the game, rifling a shot right down the slot and past Huet, through a screen by Todd Bertuzzi.

Williams put the Red Wings out in front at 9:45 of the period. Henrik Zetterberg threw the puck to the front of the net from the bottom of the left circle and Williams – covered by two Blackhawks and falling to the ice – tipped it into the open side of the net.

Filppula extended the lead 42 seconds later beating Huet after getting the puck from Bertuzzi on a two-on-one.

Antti Niemi replaced Huet in the Chicago crease after Filppula’s goal and was beaten on a breakaway by Datsyuk with two seconds remaining in the period. Datsyuk stole the puck from Patrick Kane in the Detroit end of the ice with nine seconds left, broke in on Niemi, and beat him with a backhand shot.

The Blackhawks had opened the game’s scoring 4:24 into the opening period. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard directed the rebound of a Brent Seabrook shot straight to Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith, who fired a shot that deflected off of Rafalski’s leg and past Howard.

Andrew Ladd made it a 2-0 game with 8:23 left in the first, snapping a shot from the right faceoff dot past Howard off a giveaway by Filppula.

The Blackhawks thought they had made it 3-0 early in the second period but a power play goal was called back for goaltender interference, one of the game’s several contested plays around the creases.

Ladd resumed Chicago’s scoring 1:59 into the third period on a similar shot after the Red Wings failed to clear their own end.

To complete the hat trick and pull Chicago to within a goal, Ladd tipped a Keith shot from the blue line past Howard off of a faceoff win in the Detroit end with 7:54 remaining in the third.

Howard finished the afternoon with 28 saves on 32 shots to earn the win. Huet made 13 stops on 17 Detroit chances before getting pulled while Niemi stopped seven of eight shots but let in the eventual game-winner, giving him the loss.

Rafalski’s goal was the game’s only power play goal, scored on Detroit’s lone chance with the extra attacker. Chicago was scoreless on two power plays.

The Red Wings look to extend their winning streak to three games on Tuesday when they host the Calgary Flames.


Bertuzzi left the game in the second period with what the Red Wings called a lower body injury… Combined with Calgary’s win and Nashville’s loss, the Red Wings remain one point up on the Flames in the standings but climb to within a point of the Predators.

Red Wings Blanked by Blackhawks Again

For the second consecutive game the Detroit Red Wings were shutout by the Chicago Blackhawks. After suffering a 3-0 defeat on the road on Sunday, the Red Wings returned to Joe Louis Arena to drop an identically-scored rematch Wednesday night.

Antti Niemi stopped 33 shots en route to the shutout after Cristobal Huet backstopped the Blackhawks on Sunday.

Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago.

Kane opened the scoring with a power play goal 30 seconds into the third period, snapping a shot from the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard through a screen by Troy Brouwer.

Sharp banged a loose puck off of Detroit’s Drew Miller during a goal-mouth scramble to put the Blackhawks up by a pair at 3:47 of the third.

Toews wrapped up the scoring with 1:18 left in the game, beating Howard on a shot from the slot that just trickled through.

Howard finished the night with 28 saves on 31 shots.


In addition to their numerous injuries, Detroit played without defenseman Brian Rafalski, who missed the game with the flu. Jakub Kindl was called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to take his spot in the lineup.