Wings Give Up Two-Goal Lead, Lose 4-3

Suddenly, the Detroit Red Wings are looking like the middle-of-winter Red Wings.

And one more performance like Tuesday night, and it'll be the summer Red Wings.

The San Jose Sharks scored a pair of goals in the third period to tie the game, then Patrick Marleau scored on a breakaway off a sloppy Red Wings shot in the other end to win 4-3 and take a 3-0 lead in the series.

This in spite of events that would make the Red Wings fans curse the officiating for a second straight game:

* A Henrik Zetterberg goal was overturned by the video replay room for a distinct kicking motion on a call that was certainly inconclusive from multiple angles.

* A phantom Justin Abdelkader slashing penalty that stopped a Red Wings power play just seven seconds into it.

* The Sharks getting 10:07 of power play time versus 2:07 for Detroit.

But, in the end, the Red Wings dug their own graves, failing to convert a penalty shot after Logan Couture was ruled to have covered the puck in the crease behind Evgeni Nabokov, giving up a goal with just four seconds remaining in the first period, then allowing three unanswered goals, including a Couture blast that Jimmy Howard simply misplayed.

In the first period, just two minutes after Zetterberg's first "goal" wasn't, an almost identical play took place: this time it was Nicklas Lidstrom's pass to Johan Franzen whose shot went off of Tomas Holmstrom's skate and past Nabokov. But where Zetterberg was guilty of skating perpendicular to the puck, Holmstrom was skating towards the puck, which made the deflection much less arguable for a kicking motion. The goal was reviewed, but stood, with Nicklas Lidstrom getting the second assist.

Five minutes later, Drew Miller took the puck behind the net and sent it to Cleary, who was camped out about 12 feet in front of the net. He didn't miss, netting his second of the playoffs, with Zetterberg earning an assist.

But with four seconds remaining in the first period, the Sharks would break through. Devin Setoguchi took a centering pass from Joe Pavelski and put it just above Howard's pads and into the net for his fifth of the playoffs. Ryan Clowe also picked up an assist.

In the second period, Zetterberg would take an odd angle shot as he was along the goal line. His shot moved off the goal line, but deflected off the skate of a Sharks player and just to the left of Nabokov and into the net. Valtteri Filppula and Brian Rafalski had assists, and the Red Wings lead returned to two goals.

In the third, the ice tilted towards the Sharks. Joe Thornton swiped the puck off a Red Wings faceoff win. With four Red Wings surrounding him, he brought the puck around the back of the net, about eight feet in front of the net, then fired a shot that went off Pavel Datsyuk's stick and past Howard for his second of the playoffs.

Then, after a bad turnover, Couture was along the goal line, skating towards the net, when his shot got through Howard for his third of the playoffs. Torrey Mitchell and Marc-Edouard Vlasic earned the assists.

Finally, in overtime, a Rafalski attempt was blocked, sending it around the boards to Thornton. The Wings had overcommitted, leaving Thornton and Marleau on a two-on-one. Howard committed to Thornton, who simply passed over to Marleau for the game winner.

Game Four is Thursday night. At this rate, it may well be their last.

Player of the game: Henrik Zetterberg. An overall strong performance, with a goal and an assist.

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