Red Wings Rally to Force Game Six Against Sharks

Tomas Holmstrom capped a Red Wings’ comeback with 6:08 remaining in the third period Sunday night, deflecting a Nicklas Lidstrom shot to give Detroit a 4-3 lead over the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks had led the game, 3-1, just a minute into the third period before the Red Wings scored three consecutive goals to rally for the win. Detroit has now won two games in a row while facing elimination.

Devin Setoguchi started the game’s scoring with 2:42 remaining in the first period, deflecting a Dan Boyle shot from the blue line past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after a faceoff win by Joe Thornton in the Red Wings’ zone.

Joe Pavelski made it 2-0 with 4:28 left in the second tipping the puck past Howard from the top of the crease on a two-on-one with Ryane Clowe.

Just 53 seconds later, Niklas Kronwall responded for Detroit, snapping a shot from the right faceoff circle over Niemi off a feed from Pavel Datsyuk, getting the Red Wings on the board.

Logan Couture restored San Jose’s two-goal lead 54 seconds into the third period, skating in alone and backhanding a shot under Howard.

Detroit’s rally began with an unlikely source at 3:43 of the third. Just after the expiration of a power play, Jonathan Ericsson jumped into the slot and snapped a loose puck past Niemi to make it 3-2.

Danny Cleary jammed a puck home from the side of the net at 5:29 to tie things up.

Datsyuk started the play on the game-winner, spinning in the left circle to protect the puck before getting it out to Lidstrom up high. Lidstrom’s blast was tipped past Niemi by Holmstrom from right in front of the net, giving the Red Wings their first lead of the game.

Howard stopped 39 of the 42 shots he faced in keeping the Red Wings in it early and holding the lead late. Niemi made 18 saves on 22 shots for the Sharks.

Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had two tries with the extra attacker and San Jose had four.

Game Six will be at 8:00 PM on Tuesday from Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit’s healthy scratches were Mike Modano, Jiri Hudler and Jakub Kindl… Bothered by a sore ankle, Johan Franzen played only 9:19 and did not see the ice after the midway point of the game.

Postgame Thoughts: Red Wings @ Sharks – Game Five

Before Tomas Holmstrom tipped Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot past Antti Niemi to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead over the Sharks tonight, I said, “Even if the Wings lose this one, they did something that’ll matter in the next round: They drew blood.”

In this series, San Jose has looked nearly invincible. Even Detroit’s Game Four win included a three-goal comeback by the Sharks. Tonight, it was the Wings making the comeback, rallying from down two in the third period to get the win and force Game Six at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

The Red Wings didn’t play their best game by any means. They might not have even played a better game than the Sharks. They ground this one out, though, finding the gaps in the Sharks’ play and making things happen out of nothing.

Dan Cleary‘s game tying goal? All about not giving up on a loose puck at the side of the net.

The game winner? Holy hell, what more could Pavel Datsyuk do to set that one up? And his wrist is supposed to be hurt? One of three assists on the night.

Jimmy Howard. Thirty-nine saves. He’s the reason the Wings had a chance to win in the first place.

The series just got interesting. If you subscribe to the “hold serve at home” theory, this was supposed to be at 3-2 headed back to Detroit for Game Six. For all intents and purposes, the fact that the Wings dropped the first three games is moot at this point.

Tuesday will bring new challenges but this weekend the Wings did everything they had to in making up lost ground.

Pregame Notes: Red Wings @ Sharks – Game Five

The Detroit Red Wings face elimination again tonight as they visit the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup.

With a win, the Sharks will eliminate the Red Wings on the anniversary of the same accomplishment last season.

The Red Wings played their best game of the series to stay alive on Friday night but still suffered a let down in the second period and allowed the Sharks to come back. They’re going to need an even stronger game with San Jose looking to finish the series off at home.

No lineup changes are expected for either team.

Game time is 8:00 with TV coverage by Versus. I’ll probably miss the start of this one as I’ve got to head out of town to do Mother’s Day with the in-laws and won’t be back in time, but the fancy new forums are open for everyone else.

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