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No doubt who's best in the West
Red Wings toy with Sharks at HP
1/19/08 - by Mike Lee

If the NHL decides to award the equivalent of the Lady Byng Trophy to an entire team, the Sharks should be first in line to take the honors. There certainly is no team more accommodating to its guests than the Sharks. San Jose rolled out the red carpet for the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, allowing their guests score in almost every conceivable fashion in a 6-3 white-washing at HP Pavilion.

Four Red Wings had 3 point nights, including Niklas Lidstrom, Daniel Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg, who each had a goal and 2 assists. Chris Draper added a short-handed goal on a 4-minute Sharks power play during a wild 2nd period. The two teams combined for 6 goals in the middle frame, which saw the Sharks claw back from a 2-goal deficit, only to fall behind by 3 by the time the period ended.

It was easy to see why the Red Wings have the best record in the league. They used their speed and passing to toy with the Sharks during the opening period. Detroit goaltender Dominik Hasek didn't face a shot until the 17:03 mark, and that was from a severe angle.

Zetterberg opened the game's scoring with his 28th of the season at 6:53 of the 1st on a beautiful feed from Pavel Datsyuk. Detroit would put 6 more shots on goal in the period, but Evgeni Nabokov kept the Wings within striking distance.

Valterri Filppula gave the Sharks a golden opportunity 32 seconds into the 2nd period by cutting Christian Ehrhoff with a high stick and drawing a double minor for the infraction. Kris Draper quickly turned the Shark opportunity into Detroit gold by taking a Daniel Cleary pass up the left wing, then cranking a 30-foot shot past Nabokov for the short-handed tally.

The Sharks finally decided to join the party and converted on a Sandis Ozolinsh shot that was tipped past Hasek by Devin Setoguchi, while Filppula sat in the penalty box. Setoguchi's goal came right before Filpulla's first minor expired, but the Sharks squandered the remaining 2 minutes of extra attacker time.

San Jose would go back on the power play at 6:19 of the period, after NiklasKronvall was sent off for holding. Jonathan Cheechoo would tie the game with his 7th goal of the season by tucking the puck inside the left post after over-skating the net.

With the momentum swinging in San Jose's direction, the Sharks turned up the heat and missed on two chances in tight. That momentum went up in smoke at the midpoint of the period when Ozolinsh deflected a shot by Kronvall past his own goaltender.

The wheels would fall moments later. Jeremy Roenick would draw his own double minor for high-ticking at the same moment Ehrhoff earned a tripping penalty. Niklas Lidstrom would capitalize on the 5-on-3 with a blast from the left point that sailed past Nabokov.

Ehrhoff would earn his freedom on the goal, but earned another tripping penalty 33 seconds later. With Roenick still in the box serving out his double minor, the Red Wings went right back on the 5-on-3. Torrey Mitchell would then get whistled for high-sticking, putting three Sharks in the box.

San Jose killed off Ehrhoff's penalty unscathed, but the clock on Mitchell's infraction didn't start counting down until Ehrhoff's penalty expired. Tomas Holmstrm would give Detroit its 2nd goal ont eh 2-man advantage 11 seconds after Mitchell was sent off by tipping a Brian Rafalski shot to make it 5-2.

Mercifully for the Sharks, the period would eventually end.

Steve Bernier would give the Sharks their 3rd power play goal of the evening 47 seconds into the 3rd period. Ozolinsh narrowly missed on a backhand attempt from 15 feet out, sending the puck behind the Detroit net. Milan Michalek chased it down and sent it back out front where Bernier buried it from the top of the crease.

Cleary ended ideas of a comeback with his 19th goal of the season at the 8:50 mark. Zetterberg setup the goal with a pin-point pass that Cleary tapped past Nabokov as he broke toward the left post.

Game Notes:

Curtis Brown left the game midway through the 1st period after getting checked awkwardly into the boards. He suffered a groin injury on the play and did not return.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
DET 1 4 1 6
SJ 0 2 1 3
1st period - 1, DET, Zetterberg 28 (Datsyuk, Lidstrom), 6:53.
2nd period - 2, DET, Draper 8 (Cleary, Lidstrom), 0:54, (sh). 3, SJ, Setoguchi 9 (Ozolinsh, Rivet), 1:26, (pp). 4, SJ, Cheechoo 7 (Ozolinsh, Marleau), 7:42, (pp). 5, DET, Kronvall 5 (Franzen, Hudler), 10:00. 6, DET, Lidstrom 5 (Cleary, Rafalski), 13:15, (pp). 7, DET, Holmstrom 18 (Rafalski, Zetterberg), 15:27, (pp).
3rd period - 8, SJ, Bernier 12 (Michalek, Ozolinsh), 0:47, (pp). 9, DET, Cleary 19 (Zetterberg, Rafalski), 8:50.
Penalties
1st period - Rivet, SJ (roughing), 12:24.
2nd period - Filppula, DET (high sticking - double minor), 0:32; Kronvall, DET (holding), 6:19; Roenick, SJ (high sticking - double minor), 12:52; Ehrhoff, SJ (tripping), 12:52; Holmstrom, DET (interference), 13:00; Ehrhoff, SJ (tripping), 13:48; Mitchell, SJ (high sticking), 15:16; Listrom, DET (delay of game - puck over glass), 19:53.
3rd period - Hudler, DET (holding), 1:45; Hasek, DET (Delay of game - illegal play goalie), 18:39.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
DET - Hasek 18 15
SJ - Nabokov 28 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DET 7 17 4 28
SJ 1 8 9 18
Power Play Conversion
DET 2 of 5
SJ 3 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Henrik Zetterberg
Niklas Lidstrom
Brian Rafalski
Attendence
17,496
Officials
Referees: Don Koharski, Justin St Pierre. Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Jay Sharrers.

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