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Wings force game seven in San Jose with 3-1 victory in Joe Louis Arena

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And so it begins.

Tonight was the story of Antti Niemi, the goaltender who was unflappable through two. The only San Jose Shark who managed to show up in the first forty minutes, the only San Jose Shark who came to the rink with an attention to detail.

And so it begins.

Tonight was the story of the Detroit Red Wings, who battled through all of that adversity to rebound and score three unanswered goals in the final frame. From the drop of the puck to the final whistle, the Red Wings dominated the play in every conceivable fashion possible. They outshot, outchanced, and outworked San Jose in all three zones. It was a thoroughly dominating, and utterly devasting, performance.

And so it begins.

The hand-wringing, the worries, the anger, the pain, the concern. Emotions raw and unforgiving. The fear of a fanbase multiplied tenfold, the once steady ship battered in the waves. Every conceivable situation one could envision last week did not include this. It seemed like a mirage at the time, a figment of the imagination. A runaway thought that gradually built steam as it led to this point.

And so it begins.

Tonight the San Jose Sharks lost their third game in a row, and for the first time all series, will face elimination on Thursday night.

And so it begins.

God save us all.