Red Wings Complete Comeback, Force Game Seven with 3-1 Win over Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings became just the eighth team in NHL history to rally from down 3-0 in a series and force Game Seven, defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game Six Tuesday night.

The teams will meet in the deciding game of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup on Thursday night.

With their season on the line for the third consecutive game, the Red Wings dominated early but were unable to beat Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. Detroit outshot San Jose 32-13 through the first two period but the game was still scoreless heading into the third.

Logan Couture beat Jimmy Howard to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 3:54 of the closing period. After the Red Wings failed to clear their zone, Dany Heatley put a shot on net that Howard knocked aside. Couture swatted the rebound between Howard’s pads and it just barely crossed the goal line.

Henrik Zetterberg tied things up with 9:22 left in the period, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot high over Niemi and into the top of the net.

Just 1:54 later, Valtteri Filppula took a feed from from Pavel Datsyuk at the top of the crease and tipped the puck past Niemi to put the Red Wings in front with 7:28 to play.

After Detroit killed a late penalty, Darren Helm added an empty net goal to finish off the game’s scoring and ensure that the series would return to San Jose.

Niemi finished the night with 42 saves on 44 shots. Howard made 24 saves on 25 chances.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had six chances with the extra attacker to San Jose’s four.


The Red Wings were without Johan Franzen for the game, out with a sore ankle that was aggravated in Game Five after a hit by Joe Thornton. Mike Modano replaced him in the lineup. Jiri Hudler was also swapped in for Kris Draper, while Jakub Kindl remained a healthy scratch on defense… The Sharks were without Ryane Clowe, who did not make the trip to Detroit. Ben Eager played in his place.

Postgame Notes: Sharks @ Red Wings – Game Six

Well, where do you wanna start?

I said back before Game Four, I didn’t think the Red Wings would be here right now. Not the way they were playing, not the way the Sharks were playing.

Detroit turned it around, though, and Game Six was an incredible example of that. Even when they couldn’t beat Niemi in the first two periods, even when Logan Couture beat Jimmy Howard early in the third, they never gave up. The Red Wings controlled play for virtually the entire game. This was their most dominant performance of the playoffs and it came when it was needed most.

The Detroit team that played in the first three games of the series wouldn’t have made this comeback. Tonight we saw the team we knew they could be, the potential they weren’t living up to.

And we saw some of the team the Sharks could be, too. Not the efficient, deep, team whose defense shut you down and offense ground you out. Tonight they were emotional and played scared. Their antics in the closing seconds show where their minds were.

Both of those could change by the time the puck drops on Game Seven. Neither team is going to go down without a fight. Whatever happens, though, I’m glad to have been wrong and to have gotten the chance to see this team show up.

Pregame Notes: Sharks @ Red Wings – Game Six

Big lineup changes for both teams as the Red Wings and Sharks meet for Game Six tonight.

Johan Franzen will be out for Detroit, having tweaked his already-sore ankle on a hit by Joe Thornton in Game Five. Franzen did not play in the third period on Sunday so this isn’t much of a surprise. He’ll be replaced by Mike Modano, who also took over for Franzen in Game Four of the opening round.

San Jose, meanwhile, will be without Ryane Clowe. Clowe didn’t make the trip to Detroit with the rest of the team. No word on exactly what’s wrong with him, there are some reports that he’s got the flu but there’s also a rumor that he was hurt when Niklas Kronwall hit him last game.

Keys to the game are similar for each team, as they have been all series. Early goals, strong goaltending, try to stay out of the penalty box.

In all likelihood, this is gonna be another close one. No reason to expect otherwise after five one-goal games.

Game time is 8:00. TV is FSD locally and Versus nationally.