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.

Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings @ Sharks – Game One

Lots of talk about the refs tonight but it’s not as simple as that, which might be an unfortunate thing. Expanding on a thought I tweeted earlier…

The Red Wings probably didn’t play well enough to win this one. They spent too much time on their heels in the second period even though they came out of that one still up by a goal. They let Jimmy Howard keep them in it rather than playing their puck possession game.

That said, did they play so much dirtier of a game than the Sharks that they deserved three times as many penalties? I think the two teams played a very similar game as far as infractions went, it’s just that Detroit got called for theirs.

I don’t really have a problem with the boarding penalty to Todd Bertuzzi in the third period. I do think Joe Pavelski “sold” it – which really bothers me – but I don’t mind the call. That is, if the same call had been made when Justin Abdelkader was hit earlier in the game.

If you’re going to call that slash by Patrick Eaves late in the third period, you’d better have been calling it up to that point.

I harp on it all the damned time but it’s not the penalties that are a problem, it’s the inconsistency in what’s called a penalty. This isn’t Calvinball, the rules don’t change at random. Make up your mind as to what constitutes a penalty and stick to it.

But, as Mike Babcock said, you’re not taking penalties if you have the puck. If the Wings hadn’t rolled over in the second period, maybe they’re looking at a bigger lead heading into the third and San Jose’s PPG doesn’t matter.

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.