:: The first period was played almost entirely by special teams. The Red Wings had the first power play opportunity, and it must have shared a fork with the penalty kill over the weekend — because it was as punchless an advantage as one could imagine. A few seconds later, Justin Abdelkader and the Penalty Kill picked up right where they left off — with the former high sticking someone, and the latter failing miserably as the Wings would go down 1-0 on an Ian White shot. It seems like Detroit fans are starting to turn on Justin Abdelkader — some calling for Mike Modano or Kris Draper to be inserted into the lineup at Gator’s expense, and at that point I might not disagree with you. Abdelkader would draw a penalty of his own — a four-minute double major — and again, the Red Wings were useless with the man-up. The Sharks would take their one-goal lead into the intermission.
:: More of the same in the second period, as Tomas Holmstrom takes a holding penalty at the 2:27 mark. Darren Helm made something out of nothing, earning himself a clean breakaway — but the shot was turned aside by Antti Niemi. One minute later, Joe Pavelski took a penalty of his own — the 8th of the game after only 24 minutes played. After a clean Todd Bertuzzi hit on Dany Heatley (yes it was, you jackass), Ben Eager goes after Bertuzzi and both end up in the Red Wings bench. Somehow, both were called for roughing, and even the dumbshit announcers claim the refs are calling this one for the Sharks. Shocked — SHOCKED — I am. Later, Eager would get a ten minute misconduct, which doesn’t put the Wings on the power play. Sneaky way of pretending like you’re calling it even.
:: Doug Murray had a great chance with just over four minutes left in the second, as his rebound opportunity snuck through Howard’s wickets and was slowly rolling toward the net when Pavel Datsyuk stepped in and swiped the puck out of danger. Jimmy Howard has played fantastic, and just needed a little help from his backcheckers on that play. Perennial Selke winner/nominee Dangles was happy to oblige. The Sharks would take the same 1-0 lead into the locker room after 40.
:: The start of the third period was a disaster. It was all Sharks early and they made it 2-0 after a tricky shot from Niclas Wallin caught a surprised Jimmy Howard in the left shoulder, causing the puck to pop straight up and bounce behind him. Unfortunate goal against, and the Wings’ hole was dug twice as deep. The Red Wings were clearly frustrated, as Tomas Holmstrom takes a dumb retaliation penalty after the whistle… and Jimmy Howard slashed Joe Thornton following the third snow shower he’d received on the night (there was no call). Things were starting to get ugly, and there was still fifteen minutes left in regulation.
:: Detroit would finally convert on their sixth power play. Henrik Zetterberg scored right from the slot, cutting the deficit in half with six minutes left to play. It would be all they’d get, as the clock ticked away with Niemi shutting the door the rest of the way.
:: Henrik Zetterberg did net one in San Jose (mp +1, ch -1)