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Niemi's crazy save preserves win in Motown
Couture's shootout goal sinks Wings
10/21/13 - By Mike Lee -



The Sharks won't be seeing as much of the Detroit Red Wings now that their long-time rival has moved to the Eastern Conference, so the two teams decided to put on a defensive masterpiece at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night in the Motor City. Both teams combined for 51 shots, but neither could get a puck past goaltenders Antti Niemi and Jimmy Howard. San Jose used a Logan Couture shootout goal and an incredible save by Niemi to take the first half of the abridged series between the two teams.

* Both teams clamped down on the neutral zone, denying their opponent from gaining the offensive zones with any speed. The best way to describe this game is: Chess Match. Neither side wanted to surrender the initial goal, and both showed what defensive presence means.

* San Jose had their own chances on the power play, but miss-fired on three opportunities. The first came just 30 seconds into the game when Pavel Datsyuk was whistled for interference.

* San Jose out-shot Detroit 27-24, but the Red Wings took control of the game in the 3rd period, putting half of their shots on net in that frame. Niemi made his best save of the night on Daniel Alfredsson in the 2nd period, after the former Ottawa Senator's captain spun on a puck and fired a shot on net from 12 feet out.

* In the shootout, Datsyuk missed on a backhand chance, then Patrick Marleau beat Howard with a nifty move to his left but his shot clanked off the left post. Daniel Alfredsson tried to wrist a shot past Niemi, but his shot went wide left. Couture buried his chance, setting up Niemi's incredible save. Detroit's last hope rested in Todd Bertuzzi's hands, and the burly forward appeared to have the Sharks goaltender beat, but when he tried lifting the puck into a wide open net from the left side, Niemi lifted his right leg, denying the shot with his skate.

* James Sheppard was called for an interference penalty after Henrik Zetterberg essentially grabbed Sheppard's stick and went for a ride at center ice for all four officials to see. Dan O'Rourke called Sheppard for the infraction setting up a huge power play late in the game. The Sharks penalty killers had a tough time gaining control of the puck, but they sealed off shooting lanes and denied the Red Wings from capitalizing on a major opportunity.

* Logan Couture's shootout goal was the 8th of his career, and his 5th shootout winner. He is 2 for 2 in the shootout in his career vs Detroit.

* Rookie Freddie Hamilton made his Sharks debut, and tried to snap the scoreless tie with a sweet reverse spin-o-rama move that Howard got a piece of. The shot would have most likely gone wide anyway, but it was pretty ballsy for the kid to try and pull off the move.

* Brent Burns was scratched from the game after taking a puck to the mouth on Saturday night. Already missing his front teeth, Burns took a day to let the effects of the painful injury subside.

* Detroit showed their physical side, out-hitting the Sharks 28-13. Justin Abdelkader led all skaters with 4 hits. Tommy Wingels accounted for almost 25% of the Sharks hits with 3.

* In addition to his game winning shootout goal, Couture led all skaters with 5 shots during the game.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 0 0 0 1 1
DET 0 0 0 0 0 0
1st period - None.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - None.
Shootout - DET: Datsyuk (miss), Alfredsson (miss), Bertuzzi (). SJ: Marleau (miss), Couture (goal), Hertl ().
Penalties
1st period - Datsyuk, DET (interference), 0:30; Kennedy, SJ (holding), 6:53; Bertuzzi, DET (slashing), 12:12.
2nd period - Quincey, DET (slashing), 3:40.
3rd period - Sheppard, SJ (interference), 15:03.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 24 24
DET - Howard 27 27
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 7 12 6 2 27
DET 4 7 12 1 24
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
DET 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Antti Niemi
Jimmy Howard
Logan Couture
Attendence
20,066
Officials
Referees: Kowal, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Brisebois, Gibbs.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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