Skip to content

Staying Alive: Red Wings roar back in third, beat Sharks 4-3 to force Game 6

May 9, 2011, 12:32 AM EDT

Tomas Holmstrom AP

When the Sharks got out to a 3-0 series lead on the Red Wings, they hoped for a sweep. Hoping and doing it are two different things and the Wings went out and won Game 4 for pride’s sake. The Sharks hoped they’d recreate last year’s formula for making the Western Conference finals by beating Detroit in Game 5 at home and ending the series to prepare for either Nashville or Vancouver.

Turns out that plan didn’t work out well either as the Red Wings stormed back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to beat the Sharks 4-3 and force a Game 6 on Tuesday night in Detroit.

The game played out similarly to others in this series. San Jose dominated the first 40 minutes of the game getting stellar, pressure-filled play from everyone. The Sharks forced the Wings into mistakes and capitalized on any and all errors getting out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Devin Setoguchi in the first period and Joe Pavelski with a great tally in the second. Just a minute after Pavelski seemed to start putting the stake in the Wings’ heart, Niklas Kronwall would strike back.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

With the Sharks up 2-1 going into the third, Logan Couture would make it 3-1 less than a minute into the final period. That goal was not the start the Wings were looking for when trying to get back into the game. After all, this goal was the example of the Wings being slow to react on defense and Couture taking advantage of that.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

For San Jose, however, that would be the last bit of good news they’d get the rest of the period. Jimmy Howard stood tall all game long saving 39 shots and outdueled Antti Niemi (18 saves). The Wings turned up the pressure down by two goals and the Sharks seemed resigned to sit on the lead. Against Detroit, that’s a very bad move.

Less than three minutes after Couture’s goal, Jonathan Ericsson jumped into the play and stuffed home a rebound to make it 3-2. A minute and a half after that, Dan Cleary would battle at the side of the net and squeeze one through Niemi to tie the game at 3-3. With the Sharks officially on the ropes, the Wings controlled the pace of the game. With just over six minutes to play, Pavel Datsyuk (three assists) and Nicklas Lidstrom made their presence felt connecting with Tomas Holmstrom to put Detroit in the lead.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

With Detroit in the lead for the first time, San Jose would pressure back but come up empty. For the Sharks, their effort at the end of the game was non-existent and while they played outstanding for two periods, one awful third period ruined the game for them. As we’ve seen in other games in this series, not playing a complete game will cost you. That kind of effort is alarming because it’s unlike what we’ve seen from the Sharks for most of the series and given their proclivity to psychological downers, you have to wonder what happens to the Sharks should they get down early against the Wings in Game 6 in Detroit.

For Detroit, despite all their errors and getting grossly outshot in the game it was their stars that stepped up for them along with their role players. Datsyuk playing with a sore wrist gets three assists. Niklas Kronwall who’s been outstanding throughout the playoffs comes up with a goal and an assist as well as a big hit on Ryane Clowe. Getting a goal from Ericsson on a night where he was playing abysmal on defense is a great way to make up for some poor play in his own end. Those kinds of plays make differences for the team. Expect Detroit to be even more invigorated heading home with a chance to tie the series and force a Game 7 where all bets are off.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Latest Posts
  1. Canes sign Zach Boychuk to one-year, two-way deal

    Jul 7, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    Zach Boychuk Getty Images

    “He’s a reliable depth forward who we know is capable of contributing offensively at either level.”

  2. Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18

    Jul 7, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    Stepped in to play the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final.

  3. Blue Jackets sign Columbus-born Kole Sherwood

    Jul 7, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    2015 NHL Draft - Round One Getty Images

    Jarmo Kekalainen brings a local boy into the organization.

  4. Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage

    Jul 7, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    “He’s obviously a great talent.”

  5. PHT Morning Skate: Tyler Seguin is naked

    Jul 7, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    TylerSeguin

    In ESPN’s The Body Issue, of course.

  6. Report: Wild’s Backstrom suffered serious nerve damage in elbow

    Jul 6, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

    Niklas Backstrom AP

    “It happened pretty fast. All of a sudden two fingers are not working.”

  7. Oilers taking Schultz to arbitration

    Jul 6, 2015, 9:59 PM EDT

    Justin Schultz Getty Images

    25-year-old defenseman struggled mightily last season.

  8. Coyotes sign No. 3 overall pick Strome to entry-level deal

    Jul 6, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT

    Dylan Strome Dylan Strome

    Connor McDavid’s running mate in Erie was the OHL’s leading scorer last season.

  9. Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications

    Jul 6, 2015, 7:25 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 26:  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens eliminated the Ottawa Senators by defeating them 2-0 and move to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Quebec City and Las Vegas have already expressed interest.

  10. Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension

    Jul 6, 2015, 6:08 PM EDT

    Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

    Russian forward is coming off a solid rookie campaign.

  11. Bishop Effect: 6-foot-9 goalie ‘trying to make a name for myself’ at Vancouver’s prospect camp

    Jul 6, 2015, 4:29 PM EDT

    JohnMcLean

    That’s him in the blue shirt, standing next to ex-NHL goalie Dan Cloutier… who is 6’1.

  12. Veteran d-man Gervais signs in German League

    Jul 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    Spent last year with Colorado’s AHL affiliate.

  13. Sabres fill out Bylsma’s staff, hire Lambert away from WHL team

    Jul 6, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

    2015 Memorial Cup - Championship Getty Images

    His Kelowna Rockets went to the 2015 Memorial Cup.

  14. In pitching free agents, honesty is best policy for Coyotes

    Jul 6, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Don Maloney AP

    “You basically say, ‘I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s a great place to play and we have great fans and a great stadium.'”

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Voynov (2809)
  2. B. Saad (2674)
  3. R. O'Reilly (2669)
  4. B. Richards (2443)
  5. Z. Kassian (2413)
  1. M. St. Louis (2312)
  2. M. Green (2300)
  3. P. Kessel (2265)
  4. C. McDavid (2072)
  5. J. Allen (1894)