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Ferriero celebrates birthday with game winner
Sharks take 1-0 lead in WCSF series with Red Wings
4/29/11 - By Mike Lee -

Todd McLellan may just be a genius. Kicking off the Western Conference Semi-Final series with the Detroit Red Wings, the Sharks coach decided to insert rookie right winger Benn Ferriero into the lineup in place of Jamal Mayers. The move turned out to be huge, as the 4th line player scored in overtime to help propel the Sharks to a 2-1 win at HP Pavilion.

Call it a birthday present from the coach.

Celebrating his 24th birthday, Ferriero gave the sellout crowd one heck of a goodie bag for coming to his party. The right wing scored the biggest goal of his career 7:03 into the extra session after the Red Wings had just killed of a 4-minute penalty to Justin Abdelkader.

Ferriero grabbed a loose puck at the bottom of the left circle after Logan Couture chipped it out of the corner, then circled back to the top of the circle before wristing it toward the net. Former Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart tried to knock the shot down out of the air, but he ended up changing the trajectory of the flight path and fooling his own goaltender. The puck skipped off the ice and split Jimmy Howard's pads on its way to the back of the net.

Stuart viciously fired his stick in disgust from the front of the goal, bouncing it off the left wing glass as the Sharks bench emptied to congratulate Ferriero.

It was a tough-luck decision for Howard who made 44 saves on the night, including 18 in the 2nd period.

Part of the issue for Howard was that his teammates didn't provide much offensive support to complement his handy work.

San Jose sent a constant stream of pucks at the Red Wings goaltender in the opening 10 minutes of play, but nothing seemed to challenge him. Detroit was more selective with their offensive chances, and made one of them count 9:30 into the contest.

The ageless wonder, Niklas Lidstrom, scored his 1st goal of the playoffs on a shot from the high slot on a Pavel Datsyuk feed from the left wing boards. Datsyuk was arguably the best Red Wings skater Friday night, moving freely in the Sharks zone. Rather than press with the puck down low, the centerman reversed course and headed back toward the blueline, before spotting Lidstrom cutting down the slot from the blueline. Lidstrom laid into a one-time chance that beat Antti Niemi for the 1-0 Detroit lead.

The Sharks stuck to their game plan, trying to wear down the Red Wings. Torrey Mitchell missed on a one-time chance from 15 feet after Howard deflected it with a waving glove late in the opening period.

Howard came up big early in the 2nd period, snaring a Joe Pavelski shot from in tight 5 minutes in, after the Sharks forward took a pass in the slot and stick-handled toward the net before flipping a shot on goal.

Things got testy midway through the period after Pavelski chased a puck on net. Howard controlled the shot, but he took exception to Pavelski's presence in the crease, so he threw a punch with his glove hand. Both players were assessed rouging penalties, even though Pavelski never responded to the punch.

Red Wings center Todd Bertuzzi appeared to injure his right wrist after he slammed into the end boards. He immediately dropped his stick and both gloves before skating off clutching his arm. He would return in the 3rd period.

The Sharks controlled the puck for the majority of the period. At one point they put 15 consecutive shots on net.

Detroit almost scored with a minute left in the period when Niemi lost sight of the puck as it sat perched next to the left post. A Red Wings player stabbed at it, pushing the puck through the crease.

A boarding penalty to Bertuzzi midway through the 3rd period finally lit the fire for San Jose.

Pavelski tied the game at 10:22 while on the power play, knocking a deflection of Howard out of the air for his 4th goal of the playoffs. Joe Thornton put a shot on net from just inside the blueline that deflected off Howard's left pad. Pavelski swatted the waist-high deflection into the net and the momentum had shifted in San Jose's favor. With the noise level inside the arena reaching deafening levels, Ryane Clowe gave the home crowd something to cheer about when he leveled Jonathan Ericsson along the end boards.

In the overtime period, the Red Wings were backed into a corner after Abdlekader was sent off for cutting Niclas Wallin with a high stick. The Red Wings killed off all 4 minutes of the infraction, but were aided by a disjointed Sharks power play until that couldn't organize an effective entry into the Detroit zone.

Ferriero ended things shortly after the penalty expired, aided by some tired Red Wing legs out on the ice.


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1 2 3 OT T
DET 1 0 0 0 1
SJ 0 0 1 1 2
1st period - 1, SJ, Lidstrom 1 (Datsyuk), 9:30.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - 2, SJ, Pavelski 4 (Thornton, Boyle), 10:22, (pp).
Overtime - 3, SJ, Ferriero 1 (Couture, Boyle), 7:03
1st period - Miller, DET (roughing), 2:30; Ferriero, SJ (roughing), 2:30; Nichol, SJ (cross checking), 2:30; Ericsson, DET (hooking), 11:20; Heatley, SJ (interference), 16:02.
2nd period - Hudler, DET (tripping), 6:33; Howard, DET (roughing), 9:57; Pavelski, SJ (roughing), 9:57.
3rd period - Bertuzzi, DET (boarding), 9:41; Eaves, DET (slashing), 13:52.
Overtime - Abdelkader, DET (high sticking - double minor), 2:43.
Shots Saves
DET - Howard 46 44
SJ - Niemi 25 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
DET 8 9 7 1 25
SJ 9 18 12 7 46
Power Play Conversion
DET 0 of 2
SJ 1 of 6
3 Stars of the Game
Benn Ferriero
Joe Pavelski
Pavel Datsyuk
Referees: Kozari, Walkom. Linesmen: Sharrers, Lazarowich.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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