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Wings spoil road trip opener
Fischer bags OT winner late
10/17/05 - by Mike Lee

The Sharks battled for 64 minutes on Monday night in Detroit, but fell in the last minute of overtime on a seemingly harmless shot from Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer. Kicking off the first game of a six-game road trip, San Jose traded blows with the Red Wings all night, finally succumbing to Fischer's shot which was screened by Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart.

San Jose did earn a point for the overtime loss, which pulled them to within a point of the Pacific Division lead, but they would have preferred the two points. The result was bitter sweet given the effort, but was probably more then the Sharks deserved given their continued struggles with special teams play.

"We battled pretty hard five-on-five. We were right with them, maybe even better," said Stuart. "We couldn't get going on the power play, even though we did score. We had a lot of chances."

Detroit scored two power play goals and held the Sharks to a lone special teams goal on eight chances. Shark killer Brendan Shannahan and former Sharks prospect Mikael Samuelsson scored 1st period goals on the man advantage. Samuelsson's goal came with less than a minute remaining in the opening period to give Detroit a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Both power plays were the result of the league's new ticky-tack penalty policy. Alyn McCauley's interference penalty was particularly irritating to the Sharks, because Tomas Holmstrom was reaching for a loose puck, and fell after losing his balance and glancing off of the Sharks winger.

San Jose had opened the game with a Nils Ekman goal on a breakaway midway through the period.

Marco Sturm knotted things up midway through the 2nd period after deflecting a Kyle McLaren shot past Manny Legace after Holmstrom was whistled for running in to Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

After a tight 3rd period, the Sharks went into prevent mode and never challenged Legace. The game looked like it was going to proceed to the penalty shootout phase of the overtime, before Fischer's wrister from the top of the left circle.

"He made a tremendous pass, right between two guys," Fischer said. "It was on my backhand, so I had to pull it back. I got it off as quick as I could. ... It was a great screen [in front of the net]. ... It was a lucky shot."

"I wanted that shootout so bad," said Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. "I had my lineup card all filled out."


Kris Draper was taken to a local hospital after getting hit in the face by a Marco Sturm shot early in the 2nd period.

Holmstrom also took a puck off the face, but his gift came courtesy of teammate Andreas Lilja

Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman sat out with a groin injury.

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1 2 3 OT T
SJ 1 1 0 0 2
DET 2 0 0 1 3
1st period - 1, San Jose, Ekman 3, 12:29. 2, Detroit, Shanahan 4 (Woolley, Schneider), 15:10, (pp). 3, Detroit, Samuelsson 5 (Williams, Shanahan), 19:07, (pp).
2nd period - 4, San Jose, Sturm 4 (McLaren, Marleau), 10:50, (pp).
3rd period - None
Overtime - 5, Detroit, Fischer 3 (Schneider, Zetterberg), 4:09.
1st period - Franzen, DET (hooking), 1:26; McCauley, SJS (interference), 1:45; Schneider, DET (holding), 2:19; Cleary, DET (tripping), 4:18; Primeau, SJS (interference), 13:12; McCauley, SJS (interference), 17:20
2nd period - Bench, DET (served by Datsyuk (too many men), 3:59; Nabokov, SJS (served by Sturm (delay of game), 8:02; Holmstrom, DET (goalie interference), 10:02; Cleary, DET (holding the stick), 12:27; Dimitrakos, SJS (hooking), 18:30
3rd period - Fischer, DET (hooking), 3:31; Ehrhoff, SJS (interference), 4:49; Williams, DET (hooking), 13:27; Sturm, SJS (holding the stick), 15:48
Overtime - None
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 34 31
DET - Legace 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 9 11 8 0 28
DET 12 11 9 2 34
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 8
DET 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Manny Legace
Brenden Shanahan
Jiri Fischer
Referees: Mike Hasenfratz, Shane Heyer. Linesmen: Andy McElman, Mark Pare.

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