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Champs give lesson in winning
SJ embarrassed at the Joe
12/18/08 - By Mike Lee

The Detroit Red Wings made it clear on Thursday night that they're not exactly ready to concede their title as Stanley Cup Champions just yet. More importantly, the Sharks received a not-so subtle reminder that if they plan on unseating the defending champs, they'll need to earn it. That reminder came in the form of a 6-0 white-washing at the hands of the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Red Wings, and goaltender Ty Conklin turned aside all 24 shots he faced to earn his 6th career shutout.

Both Datsyuk and Conklin had a considerably easy go of things against a Sharks roster that had dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets less than 24 hours earlier.

Missed chances early in the game by San Jose were magnified by the shaky goaltending turned in by Evgeni Nabokov. The Red Wings scored on back-to-back shots late in that opening frame, and the rout was on.

Johan Franzen converted at 14:31 with a benign wrist shot from the high slot that slipped past the Sharks netminder.

Datsyuk would snap a routine shot past Nabokov 1:27 later. San Jose would never rebound from the two back-breakers.

Nothing would seem to go right for the Sharks from that point forward.

The 2nd period would expose the fatigue of playing for the 3rd time in four nights. San Jose would only generate 5 shots on goal, and would fall behind 3-0 on Marian Hossa's 17 goal of the season midway through the period.

Trailing Datsyuk, the Red Wings forward took a setup in the slot and ripped a shot over Nabokov's right shoulder.

Detroit would add to Nabokov's misery with three more goals in the 3rd period. A defensive lapse by the Sharks allowed Valteri Filppula to tap home a Dan Cleary feed from the doorstep. Filppula slipped underneath the Sharks coverage and easily redirected Cleary's delivery from the slot.

Datsyuk made it 5-0 at 12:29 after intercepting a questionable clearing pass from Marcel Goc at the Sharks blueline, then ripping a shot that Nabokov partially deflected. The puck would trickle over the blueline as Nabokov's goals against average continued to balloon.

Former Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart would cap the scoring at 16:29 with his 1st goal of the season. Taking a feed from Niklas Kronwall at the point, Stuart fired the puck on net, slipping it past a screened Nabokov.

Game Notes:

Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo returned to the Sharks lineup, but neither provided much support for the lackluster Sharks.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 0 0 0 0
DET 2 1 3 6
1st period - 1, DET, Franzen 14 (Lebda, Draper), 14:31. 2, DET, Datsyuk 9 (Kopecky, Hossa), 15:58.
2nd period - 3, DET, Hossa 17 (Datsyuk, Lebda), 9:18.
3rd period - 4, DET, Filppula 5 (Cleary, Hudler), 7:25. 5, DET, Datsyuk 10 (unassisted), 12:29. 6, DET, Stuart 1 (Kronwall, Datsyuk), 16:29.
1st period - Draper, DET (elbowing), 5:48; Ehrhoff, SJ (hooking), 19:05.
2nd period - Cheechoo, SJ (holding), 2:20; Holmstrom, DET (slashing), 14:53.
3rd period - Marleau, SJ (holding), 11:52; Filppula, DET (holding), 11:52; Blake, SJ (roughing), 13:14.
Shots Saves
SJ - Nabokov 28 22
DET - Conklin 24 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 5 10 24
DET 7 9 12 28
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 2
DET 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Pavel Datsyuk
Marian Hossa
Ty Conklin
Referees: Joannette, MCCauley. Linesmen: Arnell, Cherrey.

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