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Franzen lights up Sharks in Game 4
Wings pound Sharks in 7-1 romp
5/6/10 - By Mike Lee -

With their backs against the wall the Detroit Red Wings played desperate hockey on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena. San Jose played like a team with three games to burn in the best-of-seven series. Johan Franzen played like a man possessed, scoring four goals, including three in the 1st period alone. Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi Final match up was over before the first intermission, as the Red Wings coasted to a 7-1 win.

The series now shifts back to San Jose , where the Sharks get a chance to close out the series on home ice. Franzen took full advantage of his home-ice advantage, turning in a 6-point performance in a dominating performance. The desperate team was the better team. The Red Wings opened up the door for the Sharks in the first minute of the game by taking a bench minor for too many men on the ice. San Jose ’s power play was tentative and failed to use the opportunity to get into heads of the Red Wings.

Dwight Helminen would reciprocate with a tripping penalty at 3:43, which would get the snow-ball rolling for Detroit . San Jose had killed all of 3 seconds when the goal-fest would start

Franzen would unleash a ton of hurt on the Sharks with the first of four points that he would score in a 5:36 span. The Red Wings forward would start things off by sending a long shot from the left side past Evgeni Nabokov at 5:40, while Todd Bertuzzi screened the Sharks netminder. The shot deflected off Bertuzzi, beating Nabokov via the five-hole.

San Jose would gift wrap an early present Detroit when a defensive lapse allowed Franzen to park in front of the Sharks net, then score on a rebound off a Henrik Zetterberg shot. Franzen had his back to the Sharks net when the puck landed in the crease to Nabokov’s left. The forward swatted at the puck with his back-hand, sweeping the puck into the net for the 2-0 Detroit lead.

The absence of any defense would cost the Sharks again, when Bertuzzi dropped the puck off to Franzen at 10:43 as the forward raced into the zone. Franzen slid to his left after grabbing the puck and snapping a shot across his body from left to right. With Nabokov cheating to the near side, the shot tucked just inside the right post and the Red Wings were off to the races.

He would earn the natural hatr-trick less than a minute later, punching home his own rebound as the Sharks defense once again got caught flat-footed. Franzen sent in a shot from the high slot, then scooped up his own rebound and slid the follow-up shot just inside the left post.

Douglas Murray was the latest Sharks defenseman to put a puck into his own net during the playoffs. Valteri Filppula tried sending a centering pass into the slot from the end boards, but the puck hit Murray in the skate and deflected between Nabokov’s pads for the 5th goal of the period. Murray, Rob Blake, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Boyle have all been involved in deflections that have ended up in the Sharks goal.

The period would mercifully end with the Sharks preparing their game plan for Game 5. Nabokov’s evening also came to an end, as Thomas Greiss made his playoff debut for San Jose to start the 2nd period.

Helminen opened the period with another tripping penalty, and the Red Wings would pile it on. Brian Rafalski pinched on an odd-man rush, and one timed a feed from Bertuzzi past Greiss at 3:05. Franzen would earn the secondary assist on the play for his 5th point of the game.

Niklas Kronwall and Niklas Lidstrom would take penalties late in the period to give the Sharks a brief 5-on-3 power play. Dany Heatley would end Jimmy Howard’s shutout bid with his 2nd goal of the playoffs at 19:11. The Sharks sniper ripped a blast from the inside of the right circle, catching twine.

Joe Thornton took exception to Detroit ’s offensive outburst by knocking Tomas Holmstrom off his skates after a delayed penalty to Heatley. Tempers flared and punches were thrown, which netted the Red Wings a 4-on-3 power play. Franzen would tack on his 4th goal of the game after Greiss gave up a big rebound after knocking down a shot with his glove.

Tempers would continue to flare later in the period. Scott Nichol and Justin Abdelkader would mix it up, then San Jose would take a pair of roughing penalties a minute apart, giving the Red Wings another 5-on-3. Ryane Clowe and Chris Draper would earn 10 minute misconducts for chirping, putting an end to their Game 4.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 1 0 1
DET 5 1 1 7
1st period - 1, DET, Bertuzzi 2 (Franzen, Zetterberg), 5:40, (pp). 2, DET, Franzen 3 (Zetterberg, Bertuzzi), 7:50. 3, DET, Franzen 4 (Bertuzzi, Lidstrom), 10:43. 4, DET, Franzen 5 (unassisted), 11:16. 5, DET, Filppula 4 (Holmstrom, Datsyuk), 18:50.
2nd period - 6, DET, Rafalski 2 (Bertuzzi, Franzen), 3:05, (pp). 7, SJ, Heatley 2 (Thornton, Marleau), 19:11, (pp).
3rd period - 8, DET, Franzen 6 (Lidstrom, Zetterberg), 7:33.
1st period - Bench, DET (too many men), 1:01; Helminen, SJ (tripping), 3:43; Lilja, DET (high sticking), 14:06.
2nd period - Helminen, SJ (tripping), 2:34; Clowe, SJ (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:55; Thornton , SJ (roughing), 9:55; Draper, DET (hooking), 13:49; Kronwall, DET (interference), 17:15; Lidstrom, DET (hooking), 18:54.
3rd period - Demers, SJ (roughing), 2:18; Abdelkader, DET (roughing), 2:18; Heatley, SJ (holding the stick), 3:52; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 3:52; Thornton, SJ (roughing), 3:52; Thornton, SJ (10 min misconduct), 3:52; Holmstrom, DET (roughing), 3:52; Nichol, SJ (cross checking), 10:06; Nichol, SJ (fighting major), 10:06; Abdelkader, DET (roughing), 10:06; Abdelkader, DET (fighting major), 10:06; Murray, SJ (roughing), 10:23; Clowe, SJ (10 min misconduct), 10:23; Draper, DET (10 min misconduct), 10:23; Huskins, SJ (roughing), 11:38.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 9 4
SJ - Greiss 28 26
DET - Howard 29 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 11 15 3 29
DET 9 14 14 37
Power Play Conversion
SJ 1 of 5
DET 2 of 8
3 Stars of the Game
Johan Franzen
Henrik Zetterberg
Todd Bertuzzi
Referees: Lee, McCreary. Linesmen: Morin, Murphy.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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