In a game riddled with horrible officiating and calls on both teams that should never have even been considered, the Sharks capitalized on the chances given to them and took a commanding 2 game to none lead over the Red Wings. The Sharks' Joe Pavelski ended the night with two goals, an assist, 11 shots on goal, and won 13 of 16 draws.
Pavel Datsyuk opened the scoring in the first period with a great individual effort against two Sharks defenders. Datsyuk skated in alone and with a Shark in front and behind him, he curled to his left and then fired off a shot that found the top corner, over Nabokov's glove hand. San Jose got its first of 10 power plays in the game after a questionable goaltender interference call put Justin Abdelkader in the box. With the man advantage, San Jose's Joe Pavelski scored his 8th goal of the playoffs on a slap shot from the blue line. 1:31 later Ryan Clowe scored on a between the legs, spinning shot that beat Howard. Clowe received the pass from Pavelski and was skating backwards towards the net as he shot the puck, putting the Sharks up 2-1.
A huge glove save by Jimmy Howard stopped the bleeding for Detroit and the game returned to an even keel, instead of a Sharks dominated one. Tomas Holmstrom scored his third goal of the playoffs off a deflection on a Brian Rafalski shot. Dany Heatley was in the box for the Sharks when Holmstrom scored, ending the power play woes for the Red Wings.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored two minutes into the second period on a slap shot from the point that rang off the post and in. Lidstrom's 4th goal of the playoffs put the Red Wings up 3-2.
That's when things got a bit interesting. Todd Bertuzzi took a supposed holding call as Marc-Edouard Vlasic tumbled to the ice. With Bertuzzi in the box, Niklas Kronwall hooked Pavelski, giving the Sharks a 5-on-3 power play. Pavelski tapped home a loose puck on the power play for his 9th goal of the postseason and the game tying goal.
The game winning goal came off of a bit of a fluke play. With the puck coming back to the point in the Detroit offensive zone, Nicklas Lidstrom wound up for a shot. On impact with the ice, Lidstrom's stick snapped in half like a twig and Heatley took the puck the other way with a 3-on-1.5 (Lidstrom without a stick). Heatley snapped a shot off from close in on Howard and the rebound kicked right onto the stick of Joe Thornton. Thornton tapped home the rebound for his first goal of the playoffs and the clinching goal for the game.
A late flurry from Detroit was negated after a too many men on the ice penalty put the Wings in a position in which they couldn't pull Howard as easily. Detroit was outshot 45-31 in the losing effort and won only 26 of 69 faceoffs (37.7%) but the game was a lot closer than any of those stats would indicate.
Game 3 is back in Detroit on Tuesday.
Shocking stat of the night: San Jose had a whopping 10 power plays in the game. Detroit had a total of four. Even worse: the officiating.
Player of the game: Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk had a goal and an assist to go with 7 shots on net and two takeaways in 22:00+ minutes of ice time.
#13 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Jul 20, 1978