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Sharks respond to tongue lashing
Sharks score 5 at the Joe to avenge prior loss to Wings
12/6/10 - By Mike Lee -

A tongue lashing by head coach Todd McLellan woke up the Sharks at Joe Louis Arena on Monday night. Hopefully it last more than one game. In a continuation of their on-again, off-again season, the Sharks repaid the Detroit Red Wings for an embarrassing 5-3 loss on home ice last week with a decisive 5-2 win on Detroit ice. The Sharks would play one of the poorest periods of the season to open the game, initiating a heated response from McLellan.

The Sharks did a great job of backing themselves into a corner early, by taking a series of bad penalties that would come back to bite them. Detroit would take an 8-1 shot lead through the first seven minutes of the contest, and if not for a strong performance by their neminder Antti Niemi, San Jose may have been replaying their last game against Detroit. Derek Joslin would take a cross checking penalty at 7:08, putting the Red Wings on the power play for the first time and Detroit would cash in.

Niklas Lidstrom would put a shot on net that was deflected by Tomas Holmstrom 50 seconds into the power play to put Detroit up 1-0.

Valteri Filppula appeared to make it 2-0 seconds later after his shot trickled between Antti Niemi’s pads, but the on-ice officials lost site of the puck and whistled the play dead, before the puck crossed the goal line.

The lack of response so quickly after Holmstrom’s goal was reason enough for McLellan to lose his temper on the bench. He was visibly barking at his bench after the play to wake his players up. He would also let his players have it in the dressing room after the first 20 minutes of play.

A penalty to Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader would put the Sharks on the power pl ay with 9 minutes to play in the period, and McLellan’s outburst seemed to trigger the response he wanted from his players as the Sharks generated several scoring chances on the power play, but Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard weathered the storm.

Joslin would take an elbowing penalty at 14:17, but it would be San Jose that would strike gold. An errant pass by Filpula found itself on Dany Heatley’s stick and headed up ice. Heatley skated past Jiri Hudler and had only Niklas Kronwall to beat as he approached the net with Joe Thornton on his right. He would slide the puck to Thornton, who held it for a second before lifting a shot past Howard.

Kronwall would draw a ridiculous penalty on Logan Couture for roughing after he leveled Ryane Clowe with a hit along the side boards. Couture pushed Kronwall, earning one of the softest roughing penalties you’ll ever see.

Once again, the Detroit power play would cash in, when Johan Franzen put a shot from the bottom of the right circle past Niemi. Holmstrom drove to the left post, drawing two Shark defenders over to that side of the ice before sending a pass to Franzen. Niemi tried diving to his left to cutoff the shot, but he was too late to stop the Red Wings forward from scoring his 12th of the season.

Niemi kept the Sharks within striking distance by making 16 saves in the period. The red Wings wouldn’t put anything past the sharks netminder 5-on-5.

The Sharks would go to work in the 2nd period, but not before killing a Joe Thornton holding penalty that carried over from previous stanza.

Heatley would knot the game at 2-2 by tipping a Niklas Wallin shot at 4:53 of the period. Wallin’s shot was actually deflected by a Red Wings forward before it split the circles. Heatley was parked in front of the net, reaching out with his stick to tip it again past Howard.

Lightning would strike 8 seconds later when Logan Couture grabbed the faceoff, skated into the Detroit zone and fired a shot from the left dot, beating Howard glove side. The goal would miss tying the franchise record for fastest consecutive goals by one second.

Heatley would add his second of the period with a 12 foot shot that beat Howard inside the right post after the Sharks sneaked past the Detroit defense, creating a 2-on-1. Heatley had a passing option to his left, but elected to snap the shot that would put the Sharks up by a pair with 63 seconds to play in the period.

Drew Miller clanked a shot off the left post with 12 minutes to play in the 3rd period.

Couture made it 5-2 Sharks at 11:17 when a puck to the net was deflected off his skate. Clowe threw the puck to the front of the net as Couture was skating through the crease, catching the deflection for his 2nd of the night and 12th of the season.

Niemi would get another chance to face the Detroit power play late in the contest, and he would deny the Red Wings any late heroics by stopping three shots.

The loss was only Detroit’s second in regulation on home ice this season.

Game Notes:

Defenseman Jason Demers and Niklas Wallin returned to the lineup on Monday night. Mike Moore was reassigned to Worcester to clear roster space.


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1 2 3 T
SJ 1 3 1 5
DET 2 0 0 2
1st period - 1, DET, Holmstrom 8 (Lidstrom, Rafalski), 7:48, (pp). 2, SJ, Thornton 7 (Heatley), 15:59, (sh). 3, DET, Franzen 12 (Holmstrom, Rafalski), 18:35, (pp).
2nd period - 4, SJ, Heatley13 (Wallin, Braun), 4:53. 5, SJ, Couture 11 (Clowe), 5:01. 6, SJ, Heatley 14 (Murray), 18:57.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Couture 12 (Clowe, Joslin), 11:17.
1st period - Joslin, SJ (cross checking), 7:08; Abdelkader, DET (slashing), 10:36; Joslin, SJ (elbowing), 14:17; Couture, SJ (roughing), 17:37; Thornton, SJ (holding), 19:13.
2nd period - Mayers, SJ (holding), 10:25; Holmstrom, DET (goaltender interference), 12:59.
3rd period - Filppula, DET (high sticking), 2:36; Franzen, DET (charging), 12:09; Wallin, SJ (interference), 16:54.
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 27 25
DET - Howard 35 30
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 9 12 14 35
DET 16 6 5 27
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
DET 2 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Dany Heatley
Joe Thornton
Referees: L'Ecuyer, Jackson. Linesmen: Barton, Cormier.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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