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Red Wings force a Game 7
Sharks blow another 3rd period lead, allow 3 unanswered goals
5/10/11 - By Mike Lee -

San Jose was hoping for the improbable this spring, and they partially fulfilled that wish on Tuesday night by handing Detroit a third straight game, blowing their three games to none advantage in the series to force a Game 7 on Thursday night. San Jose blew a 3rd period lead for the second consecutive game, as Detroit scored three unanswered goals in the final frame to take a 3-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.

San Jose tried to hold off the Red Wings through two periods, and steal a win with a goal in the 3rd period, but they couldn't defend against a rabid Red Wings attack that was playing for their season. Now the Sharks find themselves in the same boat, as the series finale will decide who moves on to the Conference Finals and the Vancouver Canucks.

The game plan was the same as Game 5, and as a result the outcome mirrored that loss. The Sharks had no jump through 40 minutes, passing on a chance to end the series. San Jose was out-shot in all three periods.

Dan Boyle was called for a questionable holding penalty at 3:59 of the opening period. San Jose killed the infraction, but not before Dan Cleary sent a puck on net from the left corner that missed by inches.

Niklas Kronwall obliged the Sharks with a holding penalty at 14:19, but Devin Setoguchi hooked Brad Stuart to even things out less than a minute later.

Detroit out shot San Jose 18-6 in the period, largely fueled by the imbalance in penalty calls against the Sharks.

Pavel Datysuk was sent off for holding 4:35 into the 2nd period, then tried to bait Torrey Mitchell by throwing a couple of punches. The two would earn roughing minors, but the Sharks had the man-advantage.

San Jose failed to convert and things got worse when Dan Cleary found himself with the puck and nobody between him and Antti Niemi after serving one of Datyuk's minors. Cleary raced up ice and deeked left on Niemi, but put the puck off the left post, keeping the game scoreless.

Patrick Marleau finally got his name on the score sheet, after he hit Mike Modano from behind, earning a boarding call at 10:39 of the period. Tomas Holmstrom evened things up with a goaltender interference penalty a minute later.

Logan Couture was shaken up midway through the period, and headed for the locker room, where he stayed for the remainder of the period. His return would prove important later in the 3rd.

Douglas Murray got his stick under Todd Bertuzzi's skate with 50 seconds left in the period, earning a 2 minute trip to the box for tripping. The Red Wings missed on a pair of golden chances, but Niemi came up huge with highlight reel saves.

San Jose killed off the remainder of penalty to start the 3rd period, then got the first break of the game. Logan Couture punched a puck that squeeked through Jimmy Howard and trickled across the goal line. Jiri Hudler tried to reach for the puck to clear it out of the net, but Mitchell tied him up long enough to prevent any defensive heroics.

Jason Demers saved the Sharks bacon with 11:15 to play after Henrik Zetterberg sent in a shot from the left dot. The defenseman deflected the shot with the shaft of his stick, as Niemi went with the double pad wave to try and deny the scoring chance.

Zetterberg answered at 10:38 by deflecting a shot by Kronwall. Valteri Filppula fed the puck to Kronwall from the right corner as the Red Wings defenseman skated in from the point. Kronwall uncorked a shot that Zetterberg clipped, redirecting it past Niemi to tie the game at 1-1.

Fippula made it 2-1 Detroit 2 minutes later, tapping home a perfect pass from Datsyuk as he drove to the net on the left side.

Devin Setoguchi had a great chance to pump a shot past Howard from the left circle moments after Filppula's goal, but Howard made a big stop to keep the Red Wings on top.

Justin Abdelkader put San Jose back on the power play at 13:14 after holding Dan Boyle. San Jose's anemic power play failed on their 4th and final chance, which eliminated their best chance at tying.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan pulled Niemi with 1:30 left in regulation, but Detroit was credited with an empty net goal even though he was the sixth man on the ice. Helm intercepted a long pass in the neutral zone and sent a long shot into the net.

McLellan protested the goal, but they weren't going to take it back.

The game would end with tempers flaring as the Red Wings took exception to the Sharks crashing the net around Howard.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 1 1
DET 0 0 3 3
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, SJ, Couture 3 (Heatley), 3:54. 2, DET, Zetterberg 2 (Kronwall, Filppula), 10:38. 3, DET, Filppula 2 (Datsyuk), 12:32. 3, DET, Helm 3 (unassisted), 18:55, (en).
Penalties
1st period - Boyle, SJ (holding), 13:59; Demers, SJ (elbowing), 11:13; Hudler, DET (holding), 11:13; Kronwall, DET (holding), 14:19; Setoguchi, SJ (hooking), 14:51.
2nd period - Mitchell, SJ (roughing), 4:35; Datsyuk, DET (holding), 4:35; Datsyuk, DET (roughing), 5:35; Marleau, SJ (boarding), 10:39; Holmstrom, DET (goaltender interference), 11:32; Murray, SJ (tripping), 19:10.
3rd period - Abdelkader, DET (holding), 13:14.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 44 42
SJ - empty net 1 0
DET - Howard 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 6 7 12 45
DET 18 14 13 25
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
DET 0 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Pavel Datsyuk
Antti Niemi
Valteri Filppula
Attendence
20,066
Officials
Referees: Devorski, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Driscoll, Kovachik.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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