Same Old, Same… Oh, Nevermind

After the first period, I fully expected this game to be another like Detroit’s matchup with Anaheim earlier this week. Thankfully, the second and third periods were a bit better to the Red Wings.

San Jose made their mark – both on the scoresheet and on the Detroit lineup – early. Mike Grier scored a power play goal and Kyle McLaren got away with interference on Dallas Drake, driving Drake into the end boards and out of the game. The Red Wings would say nothing more than that Drake got “his bell rung.” McLaren would get what was coming to him later when Aaron Downey went toe-to-toe with him.

Detroit got on the board in the second period with goals by Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg. Both were on hard shots from the high slot, something the Wings haven’t been doing well. Those shots haven’t been getting through but tonight they did.

Another thing that had been going against the Wings but went for them tonight: Quick whistles. Detroit lost out on a goal in Chicago earlier this season on a quick whistle but tonight they were saved when the officials lost sight of the puck in Chris Osgood‘s crease.

Matt Ellis‘ third-period goal – the first of his NHL career – ended up as the game-winner. Pavel Datsyuk added an insurance marker on a five-on-three made possible by a slash to the stick of Kris Draper by Mike Grier – another play that has gone in reverse against Detroit earlier this season.

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.

Wings Beat Sharks in OT, 3-2

Jiri Fischer‘s goal with 51 seconds left in overtime gave the Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. It was the first extra session game for both teams in this young season. The win for the Wings was a bit bittersweet as Kris Draper left the game early in the second period after taking a puck to the face.

Manny Legace made his seventh straight start for the Red Wings and had to work a bit hard early on as the Sharks controlled the play early. With a combination of penalties and abbreviated situations, the Wings fought off 4 Shark power plays in the first 6 and a half minutes of the game.

The Sharks eventually struck first at 12:29. Nils Ekman picked up a loose puck at center ice and blew past Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider to create a break away. He then slid the puck under Legace’s glove to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

The Wings got the goal back just three minutes later on a Brendan Shanahan power play goal. With time running out in the man advantage Jason Woolley‘s shot from the right point was saved by Sharks’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but created a big rebound that Shanahan put in from the slot.

In the final minute of the first period and back on the power play, the Wings took the lead 2-1 as Mikael Samuelsson took a ricochet off the back boards from a shot by Jason Williams off a face off. Nabokov was out to cut off the angle at the top of the crease on the right side giving Samuelsson the left side of the net open to score.

The Wings took control of the play early in the third but the Sharks took advantage of their opportunities. A little over 11 minutes into the second period Marco Sturm deflected a high shot from Kyle McLaren past Legace on the power play to tie the game at 2.

Along with Draper, Tomas Holmstrom was also hit in the face with a puck. Both required stitches, but Draper was taken to the hospital on a precautionary basis.

The Wings out shot the Sharks 34-28. They also held the Sharks to one power play goal on nine chances, while they scored twice on six chances.

The Wings will face the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim next, this Friday at Joe Louis Arena.