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Gustavsson outlast Sharks
SJ falls out of top 8 with SO loss
2/28/13 - By Mike Lee -

Jonas Gustavsson hadn't won a hockey game in his previous 9 starts. Then he coasted in to San Jose along with his Detroit Red Wing teammates on Thursday night. Gustavsson ended his losing streak by turning in a modest 25 save performance in regulation and overtime, then stopped all three shooters that he faced in the shootout to snap San Jose's one-game winning streak. The Sharks continue to look mystified in the offensive zone, scoring a single goal against a struggling Detroit team that played 24 hours earlier.

San Jose had no answers for Gustavsson, finishing out the month of February with a 2-6-4 record. Winning two games in a month isn't exactly setting a path for Stanley Cup glory, but the Sharks don't seem to have any answers. The bottom line forwards continue to contribute nothing in the scoring column, and it's killing San Jose with respect to game results.

On the flip side, Antti Niemi deserved better for his performance. The Sharks netminder made 33 saves and lost a lead after his teammates turned the puck over in the 3rd period.

Both teams couldn't generate much in terms of scoring chance through the first 30 minutes of the game. San Jose was rested and should have jumped on a weary Detroit lineup early. That wasn't the case. San Jose gave up double digit shot counts in two of the three regulation periods, and played passively early in the contest.

Thornton had a 2-on-1 break with Martin Havlat with 5 to go in the opening period, but he and Martin Havlat failed to synch up on their approach and muffed the scoring chance.

The Sharks went on the power play with 3:06 left in the 2nd period, but that would be short lived after Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson drew an interference penalty on Patrick Marleau after floating out of his crease and getting bowled over by the Sharks forward.

San Jose finally cracked the scoring line, when Logan Couture snapped a one-time shot from the right wing boards. Couture slipped the puck between Gustavsson and the right post after Thornton set him up with a pass from the slot.

Niemi with a nifty save on the next Red Wings possession, stoning Dan Cleary from the doorstep. San Jose's netminder got his left skate pinned against the right post, as Cleary tried to jam a puck home from just outside the crease.

Detroit had turned up the heat after falling behind, and were rewarded .

Detroit answered less than two minutes after Couture's goal when Niklas Kronwall pumped a shot that hit Patrick Eaves in the shin pan on the way to the net. The puck changed direction in traffic weaving its way past Niemi for Eaves 1st goal of the season.

Patrick Marleau missed putting the Sharks back on top minutes later after Scott Gomez set him up with a pass in the slot. Marleau tried to wait out Gustavsson as he skated toward the right post, rather than shoot it from a better angle.

Joe Thornton had Gustavsson dead to rights with a once-time chance from 12 feet late in the period, but the Red Wings goaltender got his glove on the shot as he was falling to the ice.

Detroit started to chip away at San Jose and ended up outshooting the Sharks 14-7 in the 3rd period. That's a tough pill to swallow considering that Detroit played 24 hours earlier, and they did on San Jose's home ice.

The Sharks looked no better in the overtime period. San Jose put one puck on net during the 5 minute extra session. It was exactly what Detroit needed to steal the 2 points.

Once they were in the shootout, they used their big goaltender to snuff out attempts by Michal Handzus, Patrick Marleau and Ryane Clowe. Damien Brunner provided the Red Wings with the only shootout tally they would need, pump faking Niemi, before snapping a shot home.


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1 2 3 OT SO T
DET 0 0 1 0 1 2
SJ 0 0 1 0 0 1
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 1, SJ, Couture 8 (Thornton, Murray), 4:49. 2, DET, Tatar 4 (Kronwall, Ericsson), 6:21.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - SJ: Handzus (miss), Marleau (miss), Clowe (miss). DET: Datsyuk (miss), Brunner (goal).
1st period - Murray, SJ (interference), 1:25.
2nd period - Tootoo, DET (roughing), 16:54; Marleau, SJ (goaltender interference), 17:36.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shots Saves
DET - Gustavsson 26 25
SJ - Niemi 34 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
DET 11 6 14 3 34
SJ 9 7 7 1 26
Power Play Conversion
DET 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Referees: Martell, Peel. Linesmen: Miller, Pancich .
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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