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.

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

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