Someone had to lose this game and it's a shame it was the good guys. The Red Wings five game winning streak is over thanks to a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
There is no such thing as a good loss in my opinion, but at least the Wings showed up in the contest. They had a brilliant penalty kill in the first period and played some good hockey at times. The top line was without a doubt best on this night, while the second line had a bit of a rough outing.
This was also the sixth game of the H2H2 pledge drive. It was a slow night that only saw $203 raised. The grand total is now a nice $4,531, but I think us Red Wings fans can still do better. There are six games left to pledge before the big party on March 11, so there is still time to get more pledges in!
Period-by-period breakdown after the jump.
- No sluggish start for the Red Wings tonight. The Thornton Line had a pretty good shift about a minute and a half into the game, but overall the Wings played well early on. The Datsyuk line was up to their tricks, Hank's line was shooting, and Eaves had a nice move that I really wish he would've buried.
Patrick Marleau has 1 goal in 25 career regular season games at the Joe, eh? After Ken Daniels said this I was just waiting for him to go off tonight.
- What a penalty kill! At least twice I shouted JIMMAH! during the kill. It's always good when your best penalty killer is your goalie. Nice move by Darren Helm to get out on a breakaway. I thought Dan Boyle's play was clean to stop him. After the kill, I thought for sure the Wings would turn around and score right away. Momentum was on their side. I also thought Logan Couture would be wearing a cage on his helmet the rest of the game too.
- Weak call on Jiri Hudler which lead to a Bud Lynch goal. Tough to give up a power play goal after such a great kill early in the period. Sharks 1-0 after one.
- Danny Cleary got the Wings on the board in the 2nd. He might be credited with the tally, but Hudler did most the work on the goal. The puck would've crossed the line without help from Buckets, but credit to him for ensuring the puck crossed the line and congrats on the hitting the 20 goal mark for the third time in his career.
- Patrick Eaves left the game after landing awkwardly after a hit behind the net in the offensive zone. Hopefully he's okay and it isn't significant. In the short term though with Valtteri Filppula and Mike Modano returning later in the week, some of the line-up decisions are more easily made.
- Ryane Clowe (hate that guy) put the Sharks back up by one after blocking a Jonathon Ericsson slap shot and making a nice move on Jimmy Howard on the breakaway. Rig can't get that shot blocked. He's got to pay attention to who is right in front of him and just get that puck in deep.
- Hey look at that, Danny Cleary with another goal after crashing the net. Happy picked up his second assist of the night. I previously mentioned Cleary hit 20 goals for the third time in his career? Well this goal gave him 21 on the season...a career high. And how about that line? Fox Sports had a nice full page of the Pavel Datsyuk-Hudler-Cleary line. They've scored 12 of the teams 28 goals (since Pavel returned) and have racked up 18 assists. Not too shabby. Do we have a name for these guys yet?
- The Devin Setoguchi goal was a killer. Not quite a Bud Lynch goal, but damn close.
- Slow start to the third period. In fact, I thought the Sharks were the better team throughout the third. The Wings had their chances, but San Jose controlled most of the play.
- If the first Setoguchi goal was the killer, than the second Setoguchi goal was the nail in the coffin. That's a goal that cannot be scored. I don't remember seeing it deflect on the replay. Jimmy needs to the stop that.
- Henrik Zetterberg's power play goal gave the Wings a chance at the end, but it was too little, too late. Tough night for Hank too. He was a -3 on the night and his line seemed to be matched up with the Joe Thornton-Setoguchi-Couture line all night.
- Game saver by Antti Niemi on Johan Franzen with time running out. Niemi is now 4-0 all time at Joe Louis Arena with a 1.75 GAA.
- 43 shots by the Sharks tonight. Sure that number is a tad high because of the 4 minute PP/5-on-3 early on, but that number is still way too high.
Player of the Game: I picked Hudler in the game preview, but Cleary got credit for both goals and set a new career high. Buckets gets the nod.
Final Thought: The loss drops the Wings to 5-5 in their last 10 home games.
The Red Wings' five game winning streak is now over, but Thursday gives the team a chance to start a new winning streak against a struggling Dallas team. Hopefully we'll see the return of Filppula.