Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and San Jose’s Antti Niemi each earned a shutout on Monday night but the Sharks came away with the win, as Logan Couture scored the only goal of the shootout for a 1-0 win over the Red Wings.
Howard stopped all 27 shots he faced in 65 minutes of play and forced Patrick Marleau to the outside on the first San Jose shootout attempt before Couture scored on the second.
Niemi made 24 saves before Pavel Datsyuk missed and Daniel Alfredsson fired a shot into him. With the chance to seal the victory, Niemi made a spectacular save on Todd Bertuzzi, recovering from an initial fake-out to lift his pad into the air behind him and knock down Bertuzzi’s shot.
For the only goal of the contest, Couture made a quick fake in the slot and cut to his left, snapping a shot past Howard.
The Red Wings were without defensemen Niklas Kronwall
(concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson
(paternity leave). Xavier Ouellet
made his NHL debut to fill the gap… Prior to the game, forward Luke Glendening
was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the roster for Ouellet… Mikael Samuelsson
was the only healthy scratch at forward.
The Red Wings host the NHL’s best team tonight minus their top defensive pairing. Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are both out as the San Jose Sharks come to town.
Kronwall skated this morning and is expected to return on Wednesday against Ottawa, as he’s experiencing no ill effects from the mild concussion suffered in Colorado on Thursday.
Ericsson is out for personal reasons as his wife or girlfriend (depending on who’s reporting, though one would assume they’re the same woman) gave birth to a daughter this afternoon.
With both out, Brendan Smith remains in the Detroit lineup and will be joined by call-up Xavier Ouellet, who will make his NHL debut.
There are also changes up front, as Luke Glendening has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Justin Abdelkader is back with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss centers Daniel Cleary and Tomas Tatar, Johan Franzen centers Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson, and Joakim Andersson centers Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo. Mikael Samuelsson will be the healthy scratch.
Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are a perfect 3-0 all-time against teams from California on October 21. With tonight’s game, they will have played each of the league’s California-based teams exactly once.
Game time is 7:30 on FSD.