The Red Wings got some much needed scoring in the second period, putting 3 of their 4 on the night past Evgeni Nabokov. The win was the 2nd straight and the 4th in 5 games for Detroit as they end their West coast trip. A win like that over a very good San Jose team could do wonders for this team's confidence heading into a very important week.
In the first, Joe Thornton won a face-off back to Dan Boyle. Boyle put the puck on net and Howard's rebound found the tape of Dany Heatley. Heatley's shot was stopped by Howard's paddle but Patrick Marleau buried the rebound for a 1-0 San Jose lead. Detroit was severely outplayed in the first period but came out strong and energetic in the second period.
Pavel Datsyuk got his stick in the way of a Ryan Clowe pass and took the puck up ice. Streaking down the right side and Henrik Zetterberg on the left side, the Wings had a 2-on-1 with two world class players. Datsyuk fired a shot to Nabokov's stick side and into the net for a tied game at 1. After that goal, Datsyuk elevated his game the rest of the night and the Sharks made the mistake of giving him too much space to work. Datsyuk made the most of the space given and played the style that Wings fans are accustomed to.
Later in the second, Doug Janik flung a puck on net and Patrick Eaves with a moving screen deflected the puck past Nabokov. The stick was at a questionable height but the officials in Toronto couldn't see enough to overturn the call and Detroit was up 2-1. Very shortly after the Eaves goal, the Sharks got caught with four men below the face-off zone in the offensive zone and a turnover resulted in a 3 on 2 the other way. Valtteri Filppula dropped it off to Dan Cleary, who toe-dragged past a sliding Kent Huskins and put the puck in the top corner past Nabokov for a 3-1 lead.
Following a few consecutive face-offs by way of the Wings icing the puck, Darren Helm picked up a turnover, drove the puck low and then crashed the net hard and put the puck past Nabokov for a 4-1 lead. Helm's speed left Doug Murray behind and chasing Helm to the net and Helm buried the puck.
Detroit heads back to Detroit before making the trip to Long island, NY to take on the...well, the Islanders. More analysis of the big win later
Player of the game: Hard to decide on this one so I let you choose.
Player of the game?
Jimmy Howard--31 of 32 saved, .969 SV PCT (114 votes)
Pavel Datsyuk--1 G, 53% face-off (24 votes)
Patrick Eaves--1 G, 3 shots, +2 (3 votes)
Darren Helm--1 G, 1 A, 3 hits, 1 takeaway (60 votes)
Dan Cleary--1 G, 2 shots, 1 Fight (8 votes)
209 total votes