Brunner Lifts Red Wings over Sharks in Shootout

Damien Brunner scored his second shootout goal in as many career tries on Thursday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks.

Brunner slowly skated in on San Jose netminder Antti Niemi before snapping a shot past him for the only goal of the shootout.

Niemi had previously stopped Pavel Datsyuk. Detroit goalie Jonas Gustavsson, making his first start with the Wings, stopped Michal Handzus, Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe in the skills competition.

After a scoreless first two periods, the Sharks got on the board at 4:49 of the third. Joe Thornton stripped a bouncing puck from Justin Abdelkader just inside the Detroit blue line, then fed Logan Couture for a one-timer from the right faceoff circle off of Gustavsson and in.

The Red Wings responded 1:32 later, when a Niklas Kronwall shot from the blue line deflected off San Jose forward T.J. Galiardi, then Patrick Eaves, then a post before hitting the back of the net to make it 1-1.

Niemi finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots. Gustavsson earned his first win as a Red Wing with a twenty-five save performance.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night. Detroit had two tries while San Jose had one.

The Red Wings now head back home to host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.


Ian White and Kent Huskins were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings… Valtteri Filppula remained out with an injury.

Postgame: Sharks @ Red Wings – 2/19

Quick notes because it’s an afternoon game and I say everytime that I hate afternoon games ’cause I have things to do in the afternoon…

For those saying that getting to twenty-three consecutive home wins means that the asterisk so many people want to put on this streak should be wiped out, remember that if you say the wins needed to be in regulation, the streak ended at twelve. Personally, I think it’s better to just ignore the people arguing that this streak is invalid. As I mentioned last week, you can always find a reason to apply an asterisk when you compare records across eras.

The Sharks played the Wings tough today. To a certain extent, it was a lot like Friday’s game against Nashville in that the visitors dictated the style of play for much of the game. This was probably a bit more physical than Detroit would have liked but they stepped up to the challenge and won anyway.

Notes on some specific plays…

San Jose shouldn’t have been on the power play for their first goal. While fluky as hell, the goal itself was good. The situation that caused it never should have happened, though. Brad Winchester had the puck when Jonathan Ericsson engaged him, that’s not interference. Call it holding if you want, I’d argue that less, I just really don’t like the call.

I won’t nit-pick other calls, but you know I want to. Especially the goalie interference call on Bertuzzi.

I didn’t like the Justin AbdelkaderRyane Clowe fight in the third. Abdelkader put a clean hit on Clowe there and there was no reason to have to fight over it. The fight only served to give the Sharks energy, and they scored shortly after it. Replay didn’t show whether or not Abdelkader tried to decline the fight, I think he should have and if he tried but couldn’t get out of it, I think that’s a play that needs the instigator penalty.

Never like to see people get hurt but it was interesting in that stretch where so many Sharks went down after blocking shots. I’ve noticed for awhile that it seems like the Red Wings would lose players to injury from blocking shots but their opponents never did, and kind of wondered about that. Again, don’t want to see it but the tables turning seemed like something that, statistically, should have happened awhile ago.

The big question after this one will be which goalie stays in Detroit when Jimmy Howard comes back on Tuesday. That’ll be answered tomorrow. Joey MacDonald has earned the backup role but the Red Wings organization is loyal and Ty Conklin wasn’t signed to play in Grand Rapids. We’ll see what happens.

Red Wings Fall to Sharks, 4-2, for Third Straight Loss

The Detroit Red Wings lost their third consecutive game Friday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks scored three times in the second period to rally from down 1-0.

Henrik Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring with 7:40 left in the opening period. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from the blue line intentionally wide of goalie Antti Niemi, banking the puck off the back boards to Zetterberg low in the right faceoff circle. Zetterberg banged the puck past Niemi for the early lead.

Detroit thought they had a 2-0 lead later in the period when Tomas Holmstrom knocked the puck past Niemi while sprawled out on the ice above the crease but the goal was called back for incidental contact.

Ryane Clowe got the Sharks on the board with a power play goal just 2:10 into the second. Clowe snuck down the left wing untouched as San Jose gained the zone. Marc-Eduard Vlasic worked the puck to Martin Havlat in the slot, who spun it on to the open Clowe for a wrister past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard.

It was 2-1 San Jose at 7:57 of the second, with Patrick Marleau outracing Ian White to the puck and snapping a shot past Howard.

Holmstrom got a goal that counted with 5:16 remaining in the middle period, deflecting a Pavel Datsyuk power play shot into the net to tie things back up.

With just 1:42 left in the second period, Havlat sprung Joe Thornton for a breakaway, with Thornton beating Howard to make it 3-1.

Thornton added an empty net goal in the game’s final minute to wrap up the scoring.

Howard finished the night with 26 saves on 29 San Jose shots, including a perfect stretch early when the Sharks outshot Detroit 7-1. Niemi made 30 saves on 32 Detroit chances.

Each team scored a power play goal on the night, with Detroit getting four tries with the extra attacker and San Jose having three.

The Red Wings will look to end their skid Saturday night in Minnesota.


Cory Emmerton and Fabian Brunnstrom were the healthy scratches up front for Detroit… Defenseman Mike Commodore was cleared to return from his knee injury but did not play.

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.

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.

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.

Helm’s Late Goal Keeps Red Wings Alive Against Sharks

Darren Helm scored with 1:27 remaining in regulation Friday night, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks and forcing a Game Five in their Western Conference Semifinal series.

The Sharks lead the series, 3-1, and could have finished the Red Wings off in Game Four.

After a faceoff in the San Jose end, Brian Rafalski held the puck in and fired a shot on goal from the right point. Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made the stop but the rebound came out to Patrick Eaves in the right faceoff circle, who pushed it across to Helm in the left circle for a wrister past Niemi.

The tally made up for a first-period turnover by Helm, leading to San Jose’s first goal and the start of a comeback after Detroit took a 3-0 lead in the first period.

With 1:44 left in the first, just 15 seconds after the Red Wings extended their early lead to 3-0, Helm turned the puck over to Ryane Clowe at the Detroit blue line. Clowe carried the puck down low along the left wing boards and threw it on net. Logan Couture got a piece of it on the way through and it trickled through Jimmy Howard‘s pads to make it 3-1.

Dan Boyle pulled the Sharks to within a single goal with 6:16 remaining in the second, slipping past Jiri Hudler into the right circle all alone, then taking a pass from Kyle Wellwood and snapping a shot past Howard.

Just 1:14 into the third, Dany Heatley beat Howard from the top of the crease off a pass from Clowe to complete the comeback, but the Sharks would be unable to pull ahead.

Todd Bertuzzi had opened the game’s scoring at 6:22 of the first. Bertuzzi carried the puck into the San Jose zone and spun around Heatley at the top of the left circle before backhanding a shot that deflected and fluttered past Niemi.

Nicklas Lidstrom made it 2-0 with 8:51 left in the period, blasting the rebound of a Danny Cleary shot by Niemi.

Lidstrom’s second of the night made it 3-0 with 1:59 left in the opening frame. In the closing seconds of a Detroit power play, Henrik Zetterberg pulled the puck out of a scramble around the front of the net and brought it to the left circle. He sent a high pass out to Lidstrom in the right circle, who knocked it down off his knee and then whacked a shot out of mid-air on Niemi. The puck bounced off the ice and skipped past the San Jose goalie.

Lidstrom’s second was the lone power play goal of the night. Detroit had four tries with the extra attacker while San Jose had two.

Niemi made 36 saves on 40 shots on the night. Howard stopped 25 of 28 shots.

The two teams will meet in San Jose for Game Five on Sunday.


Mike Modano, Drew Miller and Jakub Kindl were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Power Play Goals Not Enough For Wings in Loss to Sharks

The Detroit Red Wings scored two first-period power play goals Monday night but could manage nothing else against the San Jose Sharks as they dropped a 5-2 decision at Joe Louis Arena.

It was just the team’s second home regulation loss of the season.

Tomas Holmstrom redirected a Nicklas Lidstrom slap shot past San Jose goalie Antti Niemi at 7:48 of the first to open the game’s scoring.

An apparent goal by Valtteri Filppula was waived off minutes later but officials blew the play dead as the puck slipped under Niemi, before it rolled out from under him and into the net.

With Detroit’s momentum halted Joe Thornton got the Sharks on the board while shorthanded.

Playing the point on the power play, Jiri Hudler pinched in to swat at a loose puck but Dany Heatley got it past him. Heatley and Thornton went in on a two-on-one, with Heatley passing across for an easy goal by Thornton with 4:01 remaining in the period.

Johan Franzen put the Red Wings back in front 2:36 later, scoring from an acute angle on a nice passing play from Brian Rafalski and Holmstrom.

Niclas Wallin’s shot from the point at 4:53 of the second was deflected past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to tie the game back up and Logan Couture put the Sharks out front eight seconds later, snapping a shot from the left circle past Howard.

Heatley scored on another two-on-one with 1:03 left in the period, this time keeping the puck and snapping it past Howard from the right faceoff circle.

Couture’s second of the night wrapped up the game’s scoring as he tipped a Ryane Clowe pass in behind Howard with 8:43 to play.

Niemi stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced, with only 11 of those saves needing to come in the second and third periods. Howard made 30 saves on 35 shots.

Detroit scored on two of their six power plays and allowed one shorthanded goal. The Sharks were scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings are back in action on Wednesday when they host the Nashville Predators.

Zetterberg’s Four Points Lead Red Wings over Sharks

Henrik Zetterberg factored in all but one of Detroit’s goals Tuesday night, notching four points as the Red Wings picked up a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks to open a three-game West Coast road trip.

Zetterberg helped the Red Wings open the scoring at 4:50 of the first period, working the puck to Danny Cleary at the top of the crease for a tap-in on a Detroit power play.

Pavel Datsyuk made it 2-0 8:01 into the game, splitting a pair of defenders just inside the blue line and skating around San Jose goalie Antero Niittymaki. Zetterberg picked up the second assist on the goal.

The Sharks pulled to within a goal just 1:34 later when a Joe Thornton chance from the bottom of the right faceoff circle deflected off of Dany Heatley and past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard for a power play goal.

Zetterberg made it 3-1 2:58 into the second, swatting the puck out of mid-air in the slot and past Niittymaki. The goal came just seconds after the expiration of a Detroit power play.

San Jose once again replied quickly, with Benn Ferriero driving to the net and knocking the puck past Howard 1:54 later.

Patrick Eaves restored Detroit’s two-goal lead with 11 seconds left in the period, deflecting a shot from Cleary past Niittymaki.

Zetterberg finished off Detroit’s scoring at 7:55 of the third, roofing a shot into an open net off a fantastic pass from Datsyuk.

Ryane Clowe scored once more for San Jose after the Sharks killed a four-minute Detroit power play but the Red Wings would hold on to win.

Detroit finished the night one-for-four on the power play. The Sharks scored once on two chances with the extra attacker.

Howard made 25 saves on 28 shots to earn the win. Niittymaki stopped 24 of 29 shots.

The Red Wings will continue their road trip on Friday as they visit the Anaheim Ducks.

Red Wings Fall to Sharks in Penalty-Filled Affair

The Detroit Red Wings dropped a 4-3 decision to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night, falling down two games to none in their playoff series in a game that was marred by 14 penalty calls.

The Sharks trailed 3-2 heading into the third period and the Red Wings seemed to have momentum. Then Todd Bertuzzi and Niklas Kronwall were sent to the box. On the ensuing five-on-three, Joe Pavelski scored his second of the night to tie the game 4:40 into the period.

Joe Thornton would score the game-winner with 7:23 left in regulation, putting home the rebound of a Dany Heatley shot on a three-on-one after Nicklas Lidstrom‘s stick shattered at the San Jose blue line.

Pavel Datsyuk had opened the scoring at 6:51 of the first period, flinging a wrister off the post and in behind goalie Evgeni Nabokov while covered by two Sharks.

Pavelski tied things up on a power play blast from just inside the blue line 2:10 later.

Ryane Clowe put the Sharks ahead with a backhander from in close with 9:28 left in the first but Tomas Holmstrom tipped a Brian Rafalski power play shot past Nabokov 2:45 later to tie things back up.

Nicklas Lidstrom blasted a shot past Nabokov to put Detroit in front just as a power play expired, two minutes into the second period.

The Red Wings finished the night one-for-four on the power play with 4:38 of time with the extra attacker. The Sharks went two for ten in 12:54 of time, including 1:06 of five-on-three.

Jimmy Howard made 41 saves on 45 San Jose shots. Nabokov stopped 28 of Detroit’s 31 chances.

The series will shift to Detroit for Game Three on Tuesday.


The Red Wings were without forward Patrick Eaves, out with an elbow injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Jason Williams.