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Sharks 5, Red Wings 3: Sharks finish home stand with strong win over Detroit

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San Jose handed Detroit their seventh loss in a row.

Mar 12, 2018; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Timo Meier (28) celebrates after scoring a goal against Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) during the third period at SAP Center at San Jose.
Timo Meier celebrates his 18th goal of the 2017-18 campaign.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

With the playoff push in the Pacific Division starting to heat up, the Sharks grabbed two very important points at home tonight with a win over the struggling Detroit Red Wings.

San Jose started the game extremely slow, spending nearly the entire first five minutes in the defensive zone. San Jose was having trouble getting the puck out of their own zone cleanly, and Detroit eventually made them pay. After joining the rush entering the Sharks’ zone, Trevor Daley found the puck high in the slot and fired it past Martin Jones to give the Red Wings an early 1-0 lead. From that point on, the Sharks would go on to dominate in every facet of the game.

Just over halfway into the first frame, the Sharks’ top line (which has just been absolutely on fire as of late) generated one of the prettiest goals of the season for San Jose. Joe Pavelski entered the Detroit zone and found Evander Kane across the ice, who hesitated on the shot before sending a pass back across to Joonas Donskoi for the easy tap-in. Simply brilliant.

The Sharks took the lead just a minute and a half later, this time getting the tally from a fantastic shift by the fourth line. During a delayed call on Detroit, the Sharks were able to get an extra skater on the ice and keep the puck deep in the offensive zone. A point shot from Brenden Dillon found Eric Fehr’s stick blade, and deflected past Jimmy Howard to give the Sharks their first lead of the night. The goal was Fehr’s first as a Shark, and his first NHL goal in over a year.

The Sharks continued to control the game in every zone, and their stellar play at the end of the first led to a goal at the start of the second period. Chris Tierney started the play by making a nice move through two Detroit defensemen and found himself in alone on Jimmy Howard. Tierney’s deke attempt failed, but Howard was unable to cover the loose puck. Fortunately, Kevin Labanc was able to find the puck and put the rebound home to give the Sharks a two-goal cushion.

The buzz inside SAP Center died down just a few moments later when Detroit scored a somewhat controversial goal. A shot from the point led to what looked like a very high tip in front of the San Jose goal by Tyler Bertuzzi. The puck redirected off of the crossbar and landed right behind Jones, where Gustav Nyquist slapped it home from one inch away. Pete DeBoer discussed the possible high touch by Bertuzzi with the officials after the goal, but no challenge occurred.

Near the end of the second period, Anthony Mantha appeared to have scored the tying goal, but it was waved off after officials deemed the puck had been kicked into the net. It seemed obvious to everyone, including Mantha, that the goal would not count. The Sharks kept their solid level of play up through the rest of the second period, and went into the dressing room with a one goal lead.

The Sharks were able to draw an early penalty in the third period, which led to just their second chance on the power play. It was the second unit who came through for the Sharks, after a great move by Mikkel Boedker around a stick-less defender. Boedker found space to shoot through traffic in front of the Detroit net, where Timo Meier tipped home his 18th of the season.

Less than a minute later, the Red Wings killed the Sharks’ post-goal buzz again when Henrik Zetterberg received a silky backhand pass from Gustav Nyquist behind the net and beat Jones to make it a one-goal game.

The Sharks, still only up by one goal, did not take their foot off the gas. San Jose took a lead into the third period in shot attempts by a total of 21-14, and spent plenty of the time in the Detroit zone to keep the Wings at bay. Chris Tierney was able to finish the game off with just over a minute and a half to go to seal the two points for San Jose.

Notes

  • Dylan DeMelo continued to show off his offensive talents, racking up his 15th and 16th assists of the year.
  • Timo Meier just looks better and better every week, and tonight he picked up his sixth multi-point game of the year.
  • Martin Jones made some great saves at crucial moments in this game, including a breakaway chance denied on Luke Glendening.
  • The Sharks (37-23-9, 83 points) will now leave for Western Canada, where they will face Connor McDavid and the Oilers (30-34-4, 64 points) at Rogers Place on Wednesday night.