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Defense downright offensive in loss
Wings take 7-6 shootout
11/26/05 - by Mike Lee

Things have gotten so bad for the Sharks that on a night when their offense explodes for six goals, their defense and goaltending implode and give up seven. Such is life for San Jose these days. On a night when the Sharks had a chance to right the ship against a struggling Detroit Red Wings club who had lost five of their past six games, an absence of any defensive structure would spell disaster. The 7-6 loss at HP Pavilion was the ninth setback in a row for San Jose, conjuring memories of the 2002-03 season when the club disintegrated early in the season and never recovered.

The theme to Saturday night's loss was giving up lead after lead, finally succumbing to a pair of Brendan Shanahan goals with under five minutes to play in regulation. San Jose had battled back from a 5-4 deficit in the 3rd period on a short-handed goal by Wayne Primeau and a power play tally by Marcel Goc, but the absence of any defensive opposition allowed Shanahan to waltz in on goal twice and beat Evgeni Nabokov.

"It's frustrating. We had the game right there and we let it get away," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "They had 30 shots and managed to score seven times. We shouldn't have lost the game 7-6. I have nothing more to say."

Wilson will undoubtedly have plenty to say to his team before they hit the road again on Wednesday in Dallas. The Sharks allowed three power play goals in seven chances to the Wings, including a pair to Mathieu Schneider.

The two teams combined for five power play scores on 15 opportunities. Both teams enjoyed 5-on-3 chances, including two for San Jose. Detroit's was a gift after Dennis LaRue whistled Keith Primeau for hooking at 5:37 of the 3rd period after Brad Stuart had been sent off for the same infraction 14 seconds earlier.

"It's not right because it's taking a lot of guys out of the game," said Osgood, who had 27 saves. "There was not a lot of five on five. It was just power plays. If they want 7-6 games that's what's going to happen."

Schneider would convert on the two-man advantage, but then Kyle McLaren would incite an unsportsmanlike penalty for mouthing off to LaRue. San Jose was able to turn the tables on the potential blunder by McLaren, when Primeau grabbed a clearing poke by Alyn McCauley at center ice and beat Chris Osgood with a shorthanded goal at 7:55 of the period.

Henrik Zetterberg and Robert Lang would commit hooking penalties within a minute of each later in the period and Marcel Goc would cash in on the ensuing two-man advantage. Grant Stevenson walked in on Osgood from outside the left post, before slipping a pass to Goc from across the top of the crease. The Sharks winger pounded home the pass to give the Sharks a 6-5 lead 7:09 to play.

McLaren would commit another key mistake at 14:44 by flipping the puck out of play without hitting glass. Shanahan would walk in on Nabokov and snap a shot over the shoulder of the Sharks goaltender.

70 seconds later, Shanahan would punch in a goal after Nabokov failed to control the rebound on a Zetterberg shot.

"It's frustrating to score six goals and still lose but it showed some character on our part," Goc said. "We gave them a couple of easy goals."

San Jose can take some solace in the fact that several players awoke from scoring slumps, including Alyn McCauley, who played high energy game all night long, and Marco Sturm, who scored for the first time in a month.

"That was nuts. That's the only way to describe it," Schneider said. "I haven't seen one like that in years and years. Talk about the new NHL, that was it tonight."


Manny Legace was placed on the injured reserve by the Red Wings earlier in the day.

TheFan 640 in Toronto hinted that the Sharks may be in trade talks with the Maple Leafs.

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1 2 3 T
DET 1 3 3 7
SJ 1 2 3 6
1st period - 1, Detroit, Williams 8 (Lang), 2:14. 2, San Jose, McCauley 3 (Thornton, Cheechoo), 12:12, (pp).
2nd period - 3, San Jose, Sturm 6, 6:00. 4, Detroit, Schneider 5 (Lidstrom, Datsyuk), 7:58, (pp). 5, Detroit, Schneider 6 (Lang), 8:36. 6, San Jose, Smith 2 (McCauley, Stuart), 10:31. 7, Detroit, Samuelsson 12 (Schneider, Lang), 11:10.
3rd period - 8, San Jose, Thornton 3 (Ekman), 3:23. 9, Detroit, Schneider 7 (Lidstrom, Lang), 6:37, (pp). 10, San Jose, Primeau 5 (McCauley), 7:55, (sh). 11, San Jose, Goc 7 (Stevenson, Preissing), 12:49, (pp). 12, Detroit, Shanahan 14 (Williams, Lang), 15:50, (pp). 13, Detroit, Shanahan 15 (Zetterberg, Datsyuk), 17:00.
1st period - Osgood, DET, served by Holmstrom (delay of game), 2:29; Preissing, SJS (holding stick), 6:17; Lang, DET (tripping), 10:45
2nd period - Rivers, DET (tripping), 1:25; Hannan, SJS (interference), 7:08; Chelios, DET (high-sticking), 12:22; Smith, SJS (tripping), 14:48; Zetterberg, DET (hooking), 15:58; Lang, DET (hooking), 16:45
3rd period - Stuart, SJS (hooking), 5:23; Primeau, SJS (hooking), 5:37; McLaren, SJS (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:37; Lidstrom, DET (hooking), 11:41; Lilja, DET (slashing), 12:14; McLaren, SJS (delay of game), 14:44
  Shots Saves
DET - Osgood 33 27
SJ - Nabokov 30 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DET 13 6 11 30
SJ 10 16 7 33
Power Play Conversion
DET 3 of 7
SJ 2 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Brendan Shanahan
Mathieu Schneider
Robert Lang
Referees: Dennis LaRue, Brad Meier. Linesmen: Jean Morin, Vaughan Rody.

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