Detroit visited San Jose on Thursday to complete the season series with the Sharks hoping to earn a split where each team won both road games. Unfortunately, the Wings couldn't hold up their end of the bargain and fell to by a score of 3-1. The Sharks had a lot more jump than Detroit and made better on their chances. The good news at least is that the Wings have exhausted their allotment of western road trips this season.
Both teams went 1-for-3 on the power play. The Wings won the battle here though, because they scored two power play goals on the same minor penalty. Yeah, let's see the Sharks do that. The Sharks outshot the Wings 28-27 and the Wings helped Antti Niemi look like the $3.8M goaltender that time will show he's not.
Joey MacDonald held the Wings in the game through two periods, making three big saves, all pretty much the same variety of tips and redirects from acute angle passes from the boards to players charging the net. Unfortunately, he let up a bad goal in the third which completely deflated a Red Wings comeback which was already on life support. Don't mistake that for blaming anything on him though. I don't expect many goaltenders to win when you only score one goal and I sure as hell won't hold a backup goaltender to that standard. His rating was +2.
Reminder: Saturday is the last day for the H2H2 Pledge Drive. Get a great pledge in for the Wings game against the Coyotes.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump.The Goals
1st Period 03:51 - San Jose Goal: Dany Heatley (wrist shot) from Ian White and Patrick Marleau
Marleau skates a lap from the left point, around behind the net, and finally up to the right point, where he drops a pass off to Ian White. White fires it from the point where it gets on MacDonald through a crowd. He makes the stop, but the puck sits beside him in the crease and Dany Heatley taps it home. With Stuart having chased Marleau up the boards, it's Datsyuk's responsibility to clear traffic and, while he does a good job fronting Heatley, that play only works if he prevents the puck from getting to where it got. Datsyuk will pick up an extra minus.
Penalty Adjustment: 05:58 into the first period, Draper commits a stupid boarding penalty. There's a tiny bit of turning at the last second, but Draper has got to lay off this hit. Minus for Draper.
Penalty Adjustment: at 10:10, Pavel Datsyuk gets good body position on Logan Couture and forces the horse-faced rookie to hook him to prevent himself from getting embarrassed. Plus for Datsyuk.
1st Period 18:19 - Detroit Goal (PP): Tomas Holmstrom (tip in) from Mike Modano and Nicklas Lidstrom
After having a good goal waved off for a bad goaltender interference (incidental contact) call earlier in a power play , the Wings fight to get another one. San Jose plays a very aggressive penalty kill here which almost pays off as they pressure it away from Zetterberg and get a stick on the puck high in the zone. Instead of getting the puck down the ice though, Lidstrom blocks a clearing attempt and moves it to Modano on the other point with room. Modano releases a slapshot that Holmstrom deflects in past Niemi for the Wings' second goal of the power play, but first that counted. Lidstrom will get a plus for the awesome keep-in. The Wings were on a PP here because of a puck-over-glass penalty, so no adjustment on that.
2nd Period 03:54 - San Jose Goal (PP): Dany Heatley (tip in) from Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton
With San Jose on the power play thanks to a Holmstrom hook that will earn him a minus, just off the draw, Pavelski takes a bounce off the half-boards to MacDonald's left and turns to whip a puck to Heatley standing in front of MacDonald for the tip past the Wings' goaltender. This is such a bang-bang play that I don't feel it's fair to award any minuses. No adjustment.
3rd Period 15:48 - San Jose Goal: Patrick Marleau (backhand) unassisted
With the Wings pressuring deep in the San Jose zone, Joe Thornton lifts a high pass over Lidstrom's head and out of the zone. Marleau chases the puck down ice with Ericsson chasing in good position. Joey MacDonald comes out to play it and fails to get it around the forechecker. Instead, the puck bounces off Marleau and behind MacDonald. for the backbreaker. This is a bad goal for MacDonald and, as a result, I'm clearing the minuses for Lidstrom, Ericsson, Datsyuk, Franzen, and Holmstrom.
+0.5 to Mike Modano: He had a good bit of hustle in his step and was using his shot pretty well. I really liked the way he back checked in this game.
+0.5 to Niklas Kronwall: It's sad that he has his best defensive games in Red Wings losses, but he led the team in ice time again and did a good job of it.
-0.5 to Danny Cleary: I don't think I've ever seen the man lose this many board battles in a single game. This was a rare disappointing night for the man affectionately known as "buckets".
Honorable Mentions: There were a couple of sets of matching minors for tempers flaring that deserve mention but not adjustment, as it was a bit unsettling to watch the Wings get rattled in the first. I thought the Mitchell hold in the 2nd was a weak call. The Kindl hook in the third was the same. He was in good defensive position and the guy grabbed his stick to embellish. For game play, Bertuzzi and Filppula each had a decent defensive play, but I thought their inability to get anything going the other way really hindered their ratings.