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Havlat makes things right in OT
Sniper bags a pair in 3-2 win over Wings
3/17/12 - By Mike Lee -

It took more than the luck of the Irish for the Sharks to pull out a 3-2 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. It took a little luck o' the Havlat. Martin Havlat to be specific. Havlat scored a pair of goals, including the game winner in overtime to propel the Sharks to their second consecutive victory and second over Central Division teams.

The win was sweet justice, given the atrociousness of the officiating all night long. San Jose outworked Detroit all night long, but were forced to win the game in overtime after Detroit tied it up in the 3rd period on a suspect goal.

Havlat made everything right by scooping up a loose puck in front of the Red Wings net at 3:23 of the overtime and snapped a shot into a wide open net. Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard could only watch after he was pinned o the ice by his own teammate, Justin Abdelkader, after the winger checked Sharks forward Justin Braun to the ice.

“It was a good play by Havlat to scoop it up there," Howard said. "There’s not much you can do when you’ve got two guys laying on you, but it’s part of the game. It was a pile out in front. They were able to get the loose puck and put it home.”

Havlat's goal ended what should have been a Sharks win all along. San Jose owned the ice from the opening face off. Joe Pavelski staked the Sharks to a 1-0 lead 48 seconds into the game. San Jose swarmed the Detroit net, culminating in a put back by Pavelski after his first shot bounced off the Red Wings netminder. Pavelski attacked the net from the right side, gathering his own rebound with a pack of bodies all around the net, then snapped a shot over Howard's right shoulder for his 25th goal of the season.

It was the third time in the last four games that San Jose scored in the opening minuted of the game.

Havlat made it 2-0 with 1:37 left in the period, whipping a shot from 40-feet out, using former Sharks defenseman Brad Stuat to screen Howard on the shot.

“He’s such an important part of our hockey club and I don’t think we even realize yet how much of an impact he can have. He worked very hard when he was hurt and we were all anxious to get him back," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said of Havlat. " He has played two very good games. There’s the emotional part of returning and we hope that he maintains that level and we’re confident that he can do it.”

The Red Wings salvaged a goal 23 seconds later, when Pavel Datsyuk snapped a shot from the left corner past Antti Niemi's. San Jose had a chance to move the puck out of their own end, but a Dan Boyule turnover allowed the Red Wings to gain possession and work the puck to Datsyuk for the shot.

A holding call by Torrey Mitchell put the Red Wings on the power play at 6:51 of the 2nd period. Detroit would come closest to scoring when an Ian White shot deflected off Tomas Holmstrom then clanked off the right post.

The intensity picked up, with the Sharks buzzing Howard for most of the period.

Daniel Winnik missed on a wide open net after setting up Torrey Mitchell with a nice pass moments earlier. Winnik played his best game as a Shark since being acquired from Colorado on February 27th.

After outplaying the Sharks for the better part of the 2nd period, the Red Wings were finally called for a penalty when Valteri Filppula was sent off for holding Havlat with 1:50 left in the frame.

San Jose couldn't convert on the power play and almost coughed up the tying goal when an errant pass turned into a Drew Miller breakaway for Detroit at the horn. Niemi made the save, allowing the Sharks to keep their one-goal lead heading into the 2nd intermission.

The Red Wings got away with murder to tie the game at 8:12 of the 3rd period. With the puck bouncing around the Sharks blueline, Filppula gained control of the puck as Henrik Zeterberg threw a pick on Marc-EDouard Vlasic, allowing Filppula to skate in uncontested and snap a shot over Niemi's shoulder to tie the game.

When asked if he thougt he was tied up on the play, Vlasic took gave a coy response.

"If you want to call it being tied up, we'll leave it at that," Vlassic said with a chuckle. "The fact is we came back to win the game."

Detroit got away with another big screen on a moving pick in the overtime that went unpunished by referees Brian Pochmara and Dan O'Rourke. There's no use in abandoning something that works, legal or not, if the referees aren't going to whistle you for it.

Darren Helm laid the body on Dominic Moore later in the period and came up lame as a result. He looked as if he hyper-extended his left knee then limped off the ice.

“I feel great, especially after winning the game," Havlat said. "The other night we won in the shootout so we know what the situation is. Every game for us is important.”

Game Notes:

Pavelski tied a career-high for goals in a season. It is the third time he has hit the 25-goal mark, previously doing so in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Joe Thornton moved into a tie with Dave Taylor for 59th place on the NHL all-time points list with 1,069.


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1 2 3 OT T
DET 1 0 1 0 2
SJ 2 0 0 1 3
1st period - 1, SJ, Pavelski 25 (Couture, Thornton), 0:48. 2, SJ, Havlat 3 (Marleau), 18:23. 3, DET, Datsyuk 17 (Kronwall), 18:46.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 4, DET, Filppula 23 (Janik), 8:12.
Overtime - 5, SJ, Havlat 4 (Braun, Moore), 3:23.
1st period - Holmstrom, DET (goaltender interference), 9:57; Moore, SJ (interference), 14:52
2nd period - Mitchell, SJ (holding), 6:51; Filppula, DET (holding), 18:10.
3rd period - Abdelkader, DET (holding the stick), 5:09.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
DET - Howard 35 32
SJ - Niemi 28 26
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
DET 9 11 7 1 28
SJ 8 12 10 5 35
Power Play Conversion
DET 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Havlat
Joe Pavelski
Niklas Kronwall
Referees: Poshmara, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Heyer, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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