Well, this certainly looks familiar, doesn't it? Friday's score: 2-1 San Jose. Last year's series: started out 2-0 San Jose. Going back to Detroit, let's hope things turn out differently than last year.
Ian White opened the scoring for the Sharks with a slapshot while the Sharks were on the powerplay. Justin Abdelkader was in the box for high-sticking when White's shot beat Jimmy Howard to the far post, through a screen. Howard had little chance on the shot and the Sharks were on the board just 4:54 into the game. Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe earned the assists on the goal.
Darren Helm had the best scoring chance for the Red Wings in the second period as he forced a turnover and took the puck down the ice alone. Helm tried to put a shot through Antti Niemi's 5-hole but Niemi made the easy save as Helm did not make a move to open the 5-hole. Niemi's big save kept the Sharks ahead 1-0.
Early in the third period, the Sharks had a bunch of consecutive chances but Howard stood tall and kept them all out. Unfortunately, Howard was unable to get all of a wrist shot from Niclas Wallin at 1:39 and the Sharks were up 2-0. Ryane Clowe added a second assist on the game and Logan Couture got an assist on the goal.
Follow the jump for the rest of the game, analysis and video highlights.
Late in the game, Devin Setoguchi was in the box for slashing Johan Franzen when the Red Wings finally got on the board. Pavel Datsyuk fed a puck from the boards to Henrik Zetterberg in the slot. Zetterberg beat Jason Demers in the position battle and ripped a shot past Antti Niemi.
The Red Wings generated a few more chances with Jimmy Howard on the bench late in the game but were unable to get a tying goal. Now they head back to Detroit with a 0-2 hole to climb out of.
:: ANALYSIS ::
- Jimmy Howard played out of his mind. Jimmy had some huge saves and the Wallin shot was the only real negative part from his game tonight. Jimmy once again looked like he's the only one that really wants to win out there and the offense needs to start stepping it up to keep the team in the series. Howard has been spectacular this postseason, time for the surrounding team to dig themselves out of the 0-2 hole.
- Time to give credit where credit is due: the Sharks outplayed the Red Wings in today's game. They filled the shooting and passing lanes--blocking 24 shots and forced 15 takeaways. By comparison, the Red Wings blocked 23 shots (more on this next) and forced only 5 takeaways. The Sharks made life difficult for the Wings and outworked them along the boards as well as forcing a good portion of the shots to the perimeter. The Wings offense needs to find a way past this roadblock and put more pucks past Niemi. Back in Detroit for game 3, the Red Wings need to get some better passing going and get the Sharks out of position because if things stay the way they did in today's game, it's not looking good.
- Oh, Niklas Kronwall had SEVEN of those 23 blocked shots. Kronwall has had an excellent postseason thus far and with the way he's playing, he's atoning for a lot of his regular season errors. He's very capable of being a big factor in the series if he continues to play like this.
- I think Justin Abdelkader earned himself a spot in the press box for the next game. Abby hasn't had a great postseason and has had some costly penalties. At this point, the Red Wings are better served injecting Mike Modano or Kris Draper into the line-up. Thoughts?
- Something's gotta be up with Johan Franzen (still). Mule has looked slow and unable to dominate the ice like he normally does. I think he's still having trouble with that ankle and his spot might be better suited for Mike Modano at this point.
- Funny how even though the Wings out-hit the Sharks 31-19, it felt like the Wings got the worst of the physical play.
- Got a little tired of the snow showers on Jimmy and so did he. Sure, say that some of them were unavoidable but Joe Thornton's certainly was avoidable. Another one of those little things that this team seems to do that pisses me off. That and them winning.
- How awful was that bit of officiating on that icing call? It took a good 3-4 minutes for them to get everything sorted out.
- Darren Helm needs to do something, anything on the breakaway to give himself a better scoring chance. He looked 5-hole the whole way and Niemi shut it fast. Nevertheless, it was a good overall shorthanded to force the turnover and then a scoring chance, you just really wish he had been able to bury it.
- Is there anything the Sharks fans won't boo? You could probably put a puppy on the ice and they'd boo it.
- Once again, the Red Wings have found a way to make Antti Niemi look like a excellent goaltender instead of just an average goaltender. Remedy this.