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Mistakes prove costly
Detroit evens series 1-1
4/28/07 - by Mike Lee

Jumping out to a 2-goal lead in the 1st is turning into a trend for the Sharks. Too bad they couldn't duplicate their winning ways in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarter Final series with the Detroit Red Wings. The Sharks squandered their early fortune with two big mistakes and a lifeless ending to even the series up at 1-1. Detroit scored 3 unanswered goals, including a pair in the 3rd period, t win 3-2and get back into the series.

San Jose head coach Ron Wilson tried to re-instrument the defensive mode hockey that helped shut out the Red Wings in Game 1, rather than finish off their Detroit hosts. The Red Wings recognized the alignment and fought back in Game 2, rather than roll over as they did in the series opener.

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 1:24 left in regulation to propel the Red Wings, after Detroit turned up the pressure late in the contest. The Sharks looked flat in their own end and failed to clear the puck after defenseman Kyle McLaren weakly rimmed the puck out from behind his own net.

Former Sharks Mikael Samuelsson slid a pass to Datsyuk from the right corner, before the Red Wings forward cut across the top of the crease and slid the puck into a wide open net. Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov could only sprawl in desperation as Datysuk cut from left to right.

Patrick Marleau and McLaren were on the ice for all three Detroit goals.

The Sharks had the Red Wings on the ropes early, scoring just 36 into the game on a Jonathan Cheechoo deflection. McLaren sent a shot in from the point, but Cheechoo nicked the puck with his stick from 20 feet out, changing the trajectory on Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek.

Joe Thornton would score his 1st goal of the playoffs less than 4 minutes later to stun the 19,113 in attendance. Hasek gift wrapped the goal by misplaying the puck behind his own net, sliding a pass right to Milan Michalek in the corner. Michalek fired a blind pass to the slot, where Thornton was roaming for the easy goal.

Nabokov returned the favor by allowing Zetterberg to slip a stoppable shot past him with 2:30 to play in the 1st period. Zetterber carried the puck up the left wing, before sending a seemingly harmless shot from a tight angle. The puck fooled Nabokov and slipped between his pads to cut the Sharks lead to 2-1. It was only Detroit's 3rd shot of the game, but it gave the Red Wings life.

The Sharks power play has been atrocious during the playoffs, but it cost them early in the 3rd period. Christian Ehrhoff made an poor decision and tried to pass the puck up ice from behind his own end boards. Kirk Maltby deflected the pass to Dan Cleary, who raced in uncontested and rifled a shot past Nabokov to tie the game.

San Jose would generate only 6 shots on goal in the final period and never came close to putting a shot past Hasek.

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1 2 3 T
SJ 2 0 0 2
DET 1 0 2 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Cheechoo 1 (McLaren, Thornton), 0:36. 2, SJ, Thornton 1 (Michalek), 4:17. 3, DET, Zetterberg 3 (Datsyuk, Bertuzzi), 17:30.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, DET, Cleary 2 (Maltby), 1:23, (sh). 5, DET, Datsyuk 4 (Samuelsson, Zetterberg), 18:36.
1st period - Draper, DET (holding the stick), 5:29; Marleau, SJ (slashing), 13:59; Hudler, DET (boarding), 17:46.
2nd period - Bertuzzi, DET (interference), 3:08; McLaren, SJ (holding), 9:51; Draper, DET (holding), 19:47.
3rd period - Franzen, DET (interference), 8:01; Bertuzzi, DET (hooking), 12:50.
  Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 22 19
DET - Hasek 19 17
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 4 6 19
DET 3 9 10 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 6
DET 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Pavel Datsyuk
Dan Cleary
Joe Thornton
Referees: Dave Jackson, Bill McCreary. Linesmen: Greg Devorski, Brad Lazarowich.

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