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No Ordinary Joe's in Game 2
Pavelski and Thornton score key goals in 4-3 win
5/2/10 - By Mike Lee -

A guy named Joe came up big in Game 2 of the Sharks Western Conference Semi Final match-up with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. Joe Pavelski turned in a multi-goal performance for the third straight game in the playoffs, becoming the first player to do it since Mario Lemieux in 1992, and Joe Thornton scored the game-winner in a wild 4-3 Sharks win at HP Pavilion. San Jose overcame a 3rd period deficit to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Trailing 3-2 as they entered the final 20 minutes of play, San Jose turned up the heat on a road weary Red Wings lineup, drawing 5 penalties in the period. The Sharks would tie the game with a Pavelski power play goal early in the period, then take the lead later in the period on Thornton ’s 1st goal of the playoffs.

“Obviously he’s in the zone right now," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said of Pavelski after the game. "Everything he touches seems to go in the net. He had eleven shots on goal. He feels very comfortable. But he’s earned that. He works hard on every shift and he’s diligent. He’s a catalyst right now.”

With his defensive contributions being overlooked in the playoffs because of a lack of scoring contribution, Thornton has been much maligned. He would silence some of his doubters with what may be the biggest goal of his career to complete the comeback.

For the Sharks, it capped an impressive comeback against a very good team. San Jose created those opportunities in the 3rd period by throwing continuous pressure on the Detroit net. San Jose would draw holding, hooking, slashing, tripping and too many men penalties in that final period to setup the big comeback.

San Jose opened the game with two point blank shots on Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard, who made the early saves to keep the Sharks off the board.

With the Sharks putting shots on net from in tight, it seemed like a cruel joke when Pavel Datsyuk cranked a 25-foot shot from the high slot, catching the upper right corner of the San Jose goal. Evgeni Nabokov had a good look at the long drive, but rather than attacking the shot, he backed up on the shot, allowing it to sail over his left shoulder for the 1-0 Red Wings lead.

Justin Abdelkader was sent off at 8:29 after running into Nabokov to give the Sharks their 2nd power play of the period. Like the four previous games, Joe Pavelski would come through with a goal. This time on the power play, Pavelski sent a shot in from the point after taking a Dany Heatley feed. The long blast found its way past Howard after Patrick Marleau created a partial screen in the slot.

Pavelski would setup the next goal, throwing a puck toward the slot from the outside of the left circle. Ryane Clowe made a spectacular play on the pass while he was back-skating toward the net. Clowe allowed the puck to slide between his skates, before sending a backhand shot on goal with his back to the net. The deflection flipped past Howard for the 2-1 Sharks lead.

"I saw Seto going back door harder than anyone," said Pavalski. "I knew Clowie was there. Clowie made the play really. Won that battle, held on to it, and was able to get it in there. "

That lead would be short lived after Heatley took a slashing penalty at 11:24. Detroit would knot the game at 2-2 right before the penalty expired when Tomas Holmstrom deflected a shot from a spot at the top of the crease. Brian Rafalski cranked a shot from the point that John Franzen deflected, before it got to Holmstrom.

Patrick Marleau was called for boarding Brad Stuart right at the horn, giving the Red Wings power play to open the 2nd period. Detroit did everything in their power to convert, which would pay off, right as Marleau’s penalty expired. Niklas Lidstrom uncorked a slap shot from the top of the left circle that flew past Nabokov’s glove hand Jason Demers would put a shot that was almost a carbon copy of Lidstrom’s, but rather than finding twine, the shot clanked off the crossbar.

Todd Bertuzzi was whistled for a holding penalty that looked more like a trip 3:01 into the 3rd period, then Niklas Kronwall followed that up with a hooking penalty 41 seconds later. The Sharks would knot the game on the ensuing 5-on-3 when Pavelski punched home a rebound from just outside the left post.

The Sharks had collapsed on Howard as a number of shots went flying toward the Detroit net. Pavelski would finally end the wild sequence by chopping at the puck with three Red Wings sprawled out in front of the net.

San Jose would score the game winner on a tough break for Detroit with just under 9 minutes to play. Lidstrom attempted to take a slap shot, but his stick broke on the play. Heatley chipped the puck past the defenseman and raced up ice with Thornton on his left. The Sharks sniper wristed a shot from 15 feet, that Howard stopped, but the deflection kicked out, hitting a Red Wings defender and landing right on Thornton ’s stick for the easy put back.

"Whoever the d-man was, he played it pretty well," said Heatley. "I tried to make a shot low blocker, he made a good save and Jumbo did a good job stopping at the net. I'm not shooting for a rebound there, I'm trying to score."

The Sharks swarmed Howard with 4 minutes remaining in the period, but the Red Wings goaltender made the save of the game on Pavelski. The Sharks centerman had a point blank chance with the Red Wings netminder parked on his back side. Pavelski tried to lift a shot from just outside the crease, but Howard stuck a glove out to knock down the shot.

San Jose would grab the rebound, but Dan Boyle was tripped by Valteri Filppula giving the Sharks another power play. The officials would even things up when Heatley was whistled for a terrible goaltender interference penalty after he was pushed into Howard.

The home crowd may have contributed with a minute left when after Babcock pulled Howard. With crucial seconds ticking off the clock and the arena roaring, Detroit got crossed up by putting too many men on the ice. Their 10th minor penalty of the game would drive the final nail in the coffin as San Jose easily killed off the final 64 seconds to take the second game of the series.

“We were short handed 10 times, so anyway you look at it you’re not going to win any games being shorthanded 10 times," Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said. "For a team that was first or second as far as least penalized team in the regular season, obviously after these two games we need to look after our sticks, and have to kill penalties because we are going to the box way too many times.”

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1 2 3 T
DET 2 1 0 3
SJ 2 0 2 4
1st period - 1, DET, Datsyuk 6 (unassisted), 6:51. 2, SJ, Pavelski 8 (Heatley, Marleau), 9:01, (pp). 3, SJ, Clowe 2 (Pavelski, Murray), 10:32. 4, DET, Homstrom 3 (Franzen, Rafalski), 13:17, (pp).
2nd period - 5, DET, Lidstrom 4 (Rafalski, Datsyuk), 2:00.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Pavelski 9 (Heatley, Thornton), 4:40, (pp). 7, SJ, Thornton 1 (Heatley), 13:37.
1st period - Howard, DET (slashing), 0:40; Abdelkader, DET (interference on goaltender), 8:29; Heatley, DET (slashing), 11:24; Datsyuk, DET (cross checking), 19:13; Marleau, SJ (boarding), 20:00.
2nd period - Bertuzzi, DET (interference on goaltender), 6:11; Stuart, DET (interference), 17:03.
3rd period - Murray, SJ (interference), 1:14; Bertuzzi, DET (holding), 3:01; Kronwall. DET (hooking), 3:42; Cleary, DET (slashing), 5:34; Filpulla, DET (tripping), 16:05; Heatley, SJ (interference on goaltender), 16:16; Bench, DET (too many men), 18:56.
Shots Saves
DET - Howard 45 41
SJ - Nabokov 31 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
DET 7 13 11 31
SJ 15 12 18 45
Power Play Conversion
DET 1 of 4
SJ 2 of 10
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Dany Heatley
Joe Thornton
Referees: Pollock, Watson. Linesmen: Miller, Murray.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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