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|Sharks vs. Red Wings|
|Detroit Red Wings||2|
|San Jose Sharks||1|
The Red Wings hold out for a much needed 2 – 1 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks.
A very, very defensive game at both ends of the ice made this almost the lowest of low scoring games. The Red Wings’ only power play of the period was not converted on thanks to the Sharks’ strong penalty kill. Non-calls for both sides continued this game, but they had less of an impact in the outcome of the match-up.
Second period was very much a copy of the first, as defense took over, and Jonas Gustavsson stood on his head for the Wings. Only two penalties called in the period; one against Jordin Tootoo at 16:54 for roughing up Tim Kennedy on a big hit, and one against Patrick Marleau for bowling over Jonas Gustavsson and drawing a goaltender interference. Neither penalty was converted on.
The scoring was opened up in the third period by Logan Couture, who one-timed a pass from Joe Thornton for the first goal of the game at 4:49. Wings answered at 6:21, when a slapshot from Niklas Kronwall deflected off of Patrick Eaves’ leg and into the net past Antti Niemi for his first of the season. Jonathan Ericsson also picked up an assist. Defensive pressure in front of both nets, including an enormous save from an unlikely source in Henrik Zetterberg, prevented any further scoring as the third period ended, and overtime failed to produce a winner.
The only shootout goal was scored by Damien Brunner in the 2nd round, giving the Wings the much needed second point and the win.
The Good: It’s always amazing to see a team that’s played 120 minutes of hockey in 24 hours continue to hold a tie game and pull off a win. The endurance they showed was phenomenal.
The Bad: Turnovers continue to be a problem. Gustavsson was able to turn away 25 of 26 shots on goal by the Sharks, some of them direct results of turnovers or soft takeaways.
The Ugly: I’m sure my face isn’t the prettiest right now with these 12 and 1 a.m. games on the road on the West coast. The game looked pretty for the most part, so I’ll just leave it at that.
The Wings get two days off before heading to face the still unbeaten-in-regulation Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed that the Wings can be the ones to hand them their first regulation loss.