Howard’s Stellar Performance Wasted, Sharks Take Game 1

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The Wings led tonight’s contest for about 40 minutes, but it wasn’t enough in the end as the Sharks tied it up midway through the third, and won the game in extra time on a goal from probably the least likely guy on either team. Let’s get to the recap after the break.

Red Wings 1 Sharks 2 (OT)
Series: Sharks lead 1-0

I was looking for a picture to go along with this recap, so I google’d “Benn Ferriero OT winner Red Wings”. What you see above is the second image that came up in the search. I wish I were kidding.

Mr. Invisible, as I will henceforth be calling him, played about 4 minutes of ice time in the first three periods. In overtime, he fired a shot on goal that may have deflected off of Brad Stuart, and definitely deflected off of Niklas Kronwall, before nose-diving down and between Howard’s pads for the game-winner.

Not only does Ferriero apparently not have a face (he may be a vampire, I’ll have to look into that), but he had never played in an NHL playoff game before. He was a late addition to the lineup when coach Todd McLellan decided to scratch veteran Jamal Mayers.

Does it hurt more that a nobody scored a flukey goal to win the game in overtime?

I can’t properly answer that right now. I hate overtime to begin with, but playoff overtime makes me want to vomit.

Hats off to the penalty kill for holding the Sharks off the board for the entire 4 minute high-sticking penalty to Abdelkader. I still haven’t seen a replay where it shows that Wallin was bleeding, though. After the penalty expired, the Wings weren’t able to get the puck out and before they could get a fresh line on the ice the puck was in and the game was over.

The two goals the Sharks managed to score were in no way the fault of the man in pads for the Wings tonight. Jimmy Howard nearly stole us that game, making 44 saves in the process. Joe Pavelski’s goal was a thing of hand-eye coordinated beauty, while Ferriero’s was about as lucky as they come.

Pavel Datsyuk was dominant as usual, but Johan Franzen was notably absent, not even registering a shot on goal.

The Wings are going to need a better effort on Sunday, because though they didn’t have a “bad” game per se, anything less than their A game isn’t going to cut it against an elite team like San Jose.

The Off Wing View’s Three Stars

3. Joe Pavelski 1G

2. Pavel Datsyuk 1A

1. Jimmy Howard 44 saves