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Still no answers for Wings
Another late lapse costs Sharks
10/18/07 - by Mike Lee

So much for second chances. On the night the Sharks had a chance to redo their home opener and to avenge a playoff letdown, they flubbed both with a 4-2 loss to the visiting Detroit Red Wings at HP Pavilion. Four different Red Wings scored, including two in the 3rd period to break a 2-2 tie, extending the Sharks winless streak at home this season. Henrik Zetterberg led the Wings with a goal and an assist, and Brian Raflski added 3 assists.

The Sharks got on the board early, scoring on the power play just 3:20 into the 1st period on a power play. Niklas Kronvall was sent to the box for hooking and put out the league's 5th best penalty kill on the ice to suppress the Sharks. Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood tried cutting off the angle on a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the top of the right circle. The shot ricocheted off the end boards to Grier who was parked at the bottom of the opposite circle for the easy goal. Vlasic's shot got to Grier so quickly that Osgood had no chance of getting back to cover the other side of the net.

Both teams missed out on goals later in the period. Joe Thornton had Osgood caught out of position and fired a shot that defenseman Andreas Lilja blocked with his shin pad. SanJose escaped the period with the lead, but just barely after Valtteri Filpulla swatted at a rebound that trickled through Evgeni Nabokov's pads, but the puck tapped the post then sat in the crease until Vlasic swept it away.

Detroit would answer early in the 2nd period when Kronvall gloved a weak clearing attempt by Marcel Goc at the blueline, then fired a shot past Nabokov. The defenseman atoned for his two 1st period penalties with the shot that slipped under Nabokov's glove hand.

Steve Bernier just missed on a tap in attempt lass than a minute later, and Craig Rivet found himself on a breakaway, but he lost control of the puck as he skated in on Osgood.

Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings the 2-1 lead on a power play at 10:29 of the period on a shot from the high slot, after Christian Ehrhoff was sent off for holding. Nabokov had a tough time defending the play with Tomas Holmstrom parked on the doorstep, creating a great screen.

The Sharks came close to responding right away but both Mike Grier and Christian Ehrhoff bounced shots off the crossbar. San Jose hit three posts and a crossbar in the home opener on Saturday night, so between the two games, the Sharks were inches from scoring an additional 6 goals in their 1st two home games.

Jonathan Cheechoo would answer with his 2nd goal of the season by redirecting a Matt Carle shot from the high slot with 4:29 remaining in the period. The Sharks kept the pressure on Detroit with a strong fore check, which kept the puck in the Red Wings zone. Carle side stepped a Red Wings defender, before uncorking his shot, which hit Cheechoo in the stick before finding its way to the top left corner of the net.

The Sharks got sloppy later in the penalty when Kyle McLaren drew an interference penalty after he went after Zetterberg. Ehrhoff would draw an undeserved cross checking penalty on the ensuing Detroit power play, giving the Red Wings 27 seconds of 5-on-3 time.

Erin Downey and McLaren dropped the mitts at 3:47 of the 3rd to light a little fire under their respective benches.

San Jose missed out on a would be goal after referee Stephane Auger lost sight of the puck as Thornton swatted it into the Red Wings net. The goal was disallowed, which turned out to be a huge break for Detroit. They would capitalize moments later.

Another halfhearted play by Goc would end up in the back of the Sharks net. Rookie Matt Ellis would fire a blind backhand shot from the left wing boards that slipped past Nabokov to give the lead back to Detroit at 3-2. Ellis fought off a check from Goc, then score his 1st NHL goal from a tight angle.

The Sharks then handed the Red Wings the game on a silver platter by sending two men to the penalty box less than 30 seconds apart. Pavel Datsyuk would convert on the ensuing 5-on-3, by tapping in a Zetterberg pass that zipped through the slot.

Game Notes:

Dallas Drake left the game in the 1st period after Kyle McLaren floored him with a hard check against the end boards.

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1 2 3 T
DET 0 2 2 4
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Grier (Vlasic, McLaren), 3:20, (pp).
2nd period - 2, DET, Kronvall (unassisted), 4:37. 3, DET, Zetterberg (Rafalski, Osgood), 9:29, (pp). 4, SJ, Cheechoo 2 (Carle, Clowe), 15:31.
3rd period - 5, DET, Ellis 1 (Rafalski), 7:34. 6, DET, Datsyuk 2 (Zetterberg, Raflaski), 10:40, (pp).
1st period - Kronvall, DET (hooking), 1:27; Ellis, DET (holding), 11:26; Kronvall, DET(hooking), 14:03.
2nd period - Ehrhoff, SJ (holding), 8:10; Draper, DET (roughing), 12:02; Michalek, SJ (slashing), 12:02; McLaren, SJ (interference), 17:12; Ehrhoff, SJ (cross checking), 18:45.
3rd period - Downey, DET (fighting major), 3:47; McLaren, sJ (fighting major), 3:47; Lilja, DET (hooking), 4:44; Maltby, DET (slashing), 7:50; Rissmiller, SJ (roughing), 7:50; Grier, SJ (slashing), 9:44; Chelios, DET (elbowing), 19:52.
Shots Saves
DET - Osgood 25 23
SJ - Nabokov2723
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DET 3 12 12 27
SJ 8 11 6 25
Power Play Conversion
DET 2 of 5
SJ 1 of 5
3 Stars of the Game
Henrik Zetterberg
Brian Rafalski
Kyle McLaren
Referees: Stephane Auger, Ian Walsh. Linesmen: Brian Mach, Mark Wheler.

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