Special Teams Front-and-Center as Red Wings Beat Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks leaned heavily on their special teams for scoring Saturday night, with only three of their combined nine goals coming at even-strength. All three of San Jose’s goals came on the power play but it wasn’t enough to stop Detroit from picking up the 6-3 win.

The Red Wings scored three times while skating five-on-five, once while shorthanded, once on a four-on-three and one more time with a two-man advantage.

Detroit opened the scoring 6:53 into the game on a goal by Henrik Zetterberg.

Nicklas Lidstrom worked the puck down low to Pavel Datsyuk who send a blind backhand cross-ice pass to Zetterberg in front of the net for a tap-in.

It was the only goal of the first period. The second period would be much more eventful, with six goals and eight penalties.

Kris Draper‘s shorthanded goal put the Red Wings up by a pair just 54 seconds into the period but Devin Setoguchi got the Sharks back within one on the same power play 32 seconds later.

Jonathan Cheechoo tied the game on another power play at 7:42, moving to go behind the net with the puck but then coming back out front and stuffing it in after goalie Dominik Hasek had moved off the post.

Niklas Kronwall put the Red Wings back out in front halfway through the period. With both teams scrambling and netminder Evgeni Nabokov out of position, Kronwall raced down low to grab the loose puck and throw it back out front. It deflected off of Sandis Ozolinsh and into the net.

Lidstrom added another on a blast from the point with 6:45 left and the Red Wings skating four-on-three. Just 2:12 later, Tomas Holmstrom tipped a Brian Rafalski shot past Nabokov on a five-on-three.

Steve Bernier pulled the Sharks back to within two goals 47 seconds into the third period, putting the puck into an open net with Hasek out of position on a San Jose power play.

Dan Cleary finished off the game’s scoring, getting the puck from Zetterberg on a two-on-one and putting it past Nabokov.

The Red Wings finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Sharks went three-for-six.

Hasek made 15 saves on 18 shots and Nabokov stopped 22 of 28 chances.

Red Wings Even Series with OT Win over Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings rallied from two goals down to force overtime Wednesday night, then scored with 3:56 remaining in the extra period to earn a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks and even their Western Conference Semifinal series at two wins apiece.

Mathieu Schneider scored the game-winning goal for the Red Wings on their lone power play attempt of the extra frame.

San Jose defenseman Scott Hannan attempted to clear the puck from the side of the net up the middle of the ice and Schneider knocked it down, settling it for a blast on net that deflected off a defender and under the crossbar.

Detroit forced overtime when Robert Lang scored with 34 seconds remaining in regulation.

Rookie Valtteri Filppula carried into the San Jose zone along the left wing and pushed a pass off to Lang, who skated to the top of the left circle and blasted a shot through goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

Tomas Holmstrom, playing in his first game of the series after suffering an eye injury in overtime of Detroit’s series-clinching win against Calgary, got the Red Wings on the board with just 5 seconds remaining in the second period.

With the Red Wings starting a power play in the San Jose zone, Henrik Zetterberg won a draw back to Schneider at the blue line, who moved it to Nicklas Lidstrom for a shot on net that was blocked into the air. Holmstrom batted the puck in behind Nabokov to cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1.

The Sharks got on the board with 2:08 remaining in the first period when Todd Bertuzzi lost the puck along the right wing boards in the Detroit end. Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton combined to get the puck to Jonathan Cheechoo on the far side of the ice for a one-timer past Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek.

A fluky goal by Marcel Goc extended the Sharks’ lead at 8:07 of the second. Goc put a shot on net from the right wing boards that deflected off the head of Red Wings’ defender Andreas Lilja before floating over Hasek and into the net.

All of Detroit’s goals came with an extra attacker. Holmstrom and Schneider scored on two of the Red Wings’ five power play attempts and Lang’s marker came with Hasek on the bench for a sixth skater.

The Sharks were held without a power play goal on five tries.

Hasek made 25 saves on 27 shots against on the night. Nabokov stopped 46 of 49 shots against.

The series now shifts back to Detroit for game five on Saturday afternoon. Game six will be on Monday night from San Jose, while a possible game seven would be in Detroit next Wednesday.

Sharks Rebound to Take 2-1 Series Lead over Red Wings

The San Jose Sharks scored twice on the rebound Monday night, helping them rebound from a Saturday afternoon loss to the Detroit Red Wings to take a 2-1 series lead with a 2-1 win.

Jonathan Cheechoo gave the Sharks the win with 6:41 remaining in regulation on a power play. Kyle McLaren‘s blast from the point was stopped by Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek but the rebound was picked up by Cheechoo, who skated around a flopping Hasek and avoided a poke-check to flip a shot into the net.

Ryane Clowe had gotten the Sharks on the board with 7:17 remaining in the second period, taking the rebound of a Matt Carle shot and just poking it past the outstretched glove of Hasek.

Detroit scored the game’s first goal with 8:47 remaining in the first when Nicklas Lidstrom blasted a shot from the top of the left circle past Evgeni Nabokov.

San Jose finished the night with 27 shots as Hasek made 25 saves. Nabokov stopped 29 of 30 Detroit shots.

The Sharks went one-for-five on the power play. The Red Wings scored on one of their four chances with the extra attacker.

The two teams meet again on Wednesday for game four of the series.

Late Goal Lifts Red Wings into Series Tie with Sharks

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 1:24 remaining in the third period Saturday afternoon, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks to tie their Western Conference Semifinal series at one game apiece.

Datsyuk’s goal was the first rebound goal of the series for Detroit. Mikael Samuelsson threw a shot on net from the left faceoff circle and Datsyuk was all alone to pick up the rebound at the top of the crease, with time to control the puck and lift a shot over a sprawling Evgeni Nabokov.

The Sharks had taken an early two-goal lead before the Red Wings fought back.

San Jose got on the board just 36 seconds into the game when a Kyle McLaren wrist shot from the blue line was deflected past Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek by Jonathan Cheechoo.

At 4:17 the Sharks went up by a pair. Hasek tried to play the puck behind the net but sent it right out to Milan Michalek. Hasek couldn’t stop Michalek’s pass over to Joe Thornton, who fired the puck into the vacated net.

The two goals were the fastest scored against Detroit in playoff history.

Henrik Zetterberg started Detroit’s comeback with 2:30 remaining in the first period, throwing a shot on net from the left wing. It defelected off McLaren and past Nabokov for the Red Wings’ first goal of the series.

A shorthanded goal early in the third period evened things up. After a turnover by Bill Guerin just inside the San Jose zone, Kirk Maltby got the puck to Dan Cleary, who stepped into the high slot and ripped a shot off Nabokov’s shoulder and into the net.

After Datsyuk’s goal the Detroit forecheck kept San Jose from pulling Nabokov for an extra attacker until the final twenty seconds of the game. San Jose never got a chance to even things up.

Nabokov stopped 19 of the 22 shots he faced on the afternoon. Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots against.

Neither team scored on the power play. San Jose had six chances to Detroit’s three.

The series shifts to San Jose on Monday night for game three.


Detroit was without Tomas Holmstrom and Brett Lebda for another game. No timeframe is set for either player’s return.

Shorthanded Red Wings Fall to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings were shorthanded in more ways than one on Tuesday night as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the San Jose Sharks in both teams’ first game back.

The Red Wings were without Tomas Holmstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg, the Swedish gold medal winners who had not yet returned from a celebration in Stockholm. With only 17 skaters on the Detroit roster, they were further undermanned by penalties, with all five San Jose goals coming with the man-advantage.

Nils Ekman opened the scoring just 3:34 into the game, getting the puck along the goal line to Detroit goalie Manny Legace‘s left before moving in on goal and bouncing a shot off Leagce’s arm and into the net.

Jonathan Cheechoo extended the San Jose lead at 6:54 of the second period, lifting a shot over Legace after a cross-crease pass Joe Thornton while on a five-on-three.

The Red Wings drew within one with their only goal of the game when Brett Lebda beat Vesa Toskala with a shot from the left circle after an end-to-end rush by Pavel Datsyuk with 1:31 remaining in the second.

Legace stopped Ekman on a penalty shot to start the third period but the Wings never got back in the game.

Patrick Marleau put in a rebound from the side of the goal with 9:24 remaining in the game and just 1:05 later Christian Ehrhoff scored on a blast from the right circle.

Thornton closed the scoring with 6:12 remaining in the game, putting a shot from the right circle between Legace’s pads.

The Sharks finished the game with goals on half of their ten power plays, while the Red Wings were scoreless on six chances.

Legace made 27 saves on 32 shots and Toskala made 28 saves on 29 shots.

The Red Wings return to the ice on Wednesday when they visit the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, where their Swedish Olympians will rejoin the team.

More Problems on the Road: Cujo hurt in 5-2 loss to Sharks

The injury bug just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Oh sure, Derian Hatcher made it back into the lineup after recovering from a bruised shoulder, but now the Wings have lost Curtis Joseph again. Joseph tweaked his sore right ankle during the pre-game warmup, and nothing went quite right for Detroit after that. Jonathan Cheechoo scored two goals to help lift San Jose to a 5-2 win.

Detroit outshot San Jose through the first period, but the Sharks got out to an early 2-0 lead, thanks to sloppy defensive play by the Red Wings. Scott Hannan opened the scoring by skating to the slot alone and swatting a loose puck, which had just ricocheted off Hatcher’s skate, into the net.

Cheechoo increased the lead 9:40 into the game. Manny Legace made the first save against a hard shot from Mike Ricci, but Cheechoo was able to pick up the rebound, circle the net, and whack at the puck until he finally stuffed it in on the left side.

Pavel Datsyuk got the Red Wings on the board with 1:18 left in the period. Brett Hull intercepted a pass deep in the Sharks’ zone, then passed to Datsyuk at the right circle. Datsyuk moved to the net, faked out goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, then slipped the puck over the goal line.

The Sharks regained their two-goal lead early in the second. Chris Chelios tried to clear the puck, but it hit a partition in the glass and stayed in the zone. Cheechoo got hold of the puck and blasted a shot from the left circle. Legace wasn’t quite able to get his glove up high enough and the puck sailed into the net.

Jiri Fischer brought the Wings back within one goal with a point shot midway through the period, but the Sharks responded with two goals in the third. Alyn McCauley beat everyone to a loose puck while Legace was tangled up with Anders Myrvold and Niklas Ekman. McCauley threw the puck into the crease, and Alexander Korolyuk outraced Henrik Zetterberg to get to the puck and direct it into the net with his skate.

Vincent Damphousse capped off the scoring by poking in a rebound from a shot by Patrick Marleau with just over four minutes left to play.

Detroit outshot San Jose by a count of 39 to 20. The Red Wings will finish up their West Coast trip with a stop in Denver Thursday night to visit the Colorado Avalanche.


Damphousse’s goal was his 1200th career point… Datsyuk now has 27 goals this season, four more than he had in his two previous seasons combined… The Wings are currently tied for first with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL standings, with 99 points each. The Sharks and Avalanche, currently the second and third seeds in the Western Conference, have 94 points each.