The round 2 match-up between the Wings and Sharks got underway last night in an exciting fast paced game. The Wings had Franzen and Zetterberg back in the line-up just in time to take on a front loaded Sharks team. The 4 game sweep of the Coyotes was exactly what the doctor ordered for this Wings team as both injured players are big time players and will be needed at full capacity if the Red Wings intend on revenging last years 4-1 series loss to the Sharks.
The Red Wings got out to a quick lead against the Sharks as Lidstrom’s clapper from the high slot beat Niemi glove side at the 10:30 mark of the 1st period; yet again Datsyuk made it all happen with a beauty of a backhand pass. This lead would last quite some time for the Red Wings.
The next 40 minutes were dominated by the two tenders as both men answered the toll numerous times to keep their team in it. Jimmy Howard in particular stepped up to keep his team in the game as the Sharks really pressured in an attempt to tie up the game as they outshot the Red Wings 18-9 in the second period
The Sharks finally did tie the game up at the 13:00 minute mark of the 3rd period. Bertuzzi headed to the penalty box on a weak boarding call and the Sharks took advantage. Little Joe Pavelski displayed his excellent hand eye coordination as he knocked in a hip high rebound from Howard off a shot from the point by Big Joe Thornton.
With both teams only able to tally one goal in regulation OT was required to decide a winner in the exciting opener of this series. As everyone made their picks for the OT winner I doubt anyone thought that sparcley used rookie Ben Ferriero would come up big in OT…. But that is exactly what happened. Playing in his first playoff game and on his 24th birthday Ferrerio threw the puck to the net from the left hash mark and the puck deflected off Kronwall’s stick and past Howard who never had a chance on the shot.
With game 2 scheduled for Sunday afternoon it will be critical for the Red Wings to match the tempo of the Sharks who outshot the Red Wings 46-25. There is still a little rust for the Red Wings to shake of before game 2 and it will be critical that do so; falling back 2-0 to this Sharks team might prove to be an insurmountable lead.
About the Author
Written by Kirk Butler
Born and raised in Murray Harbour - PEI. Like many Canadians hockey is my religion; as a kid I had the pleasure of playing my minor hockey with Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards of the 2004 Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning. I played competitive hockey until the age of 21 which included stops in the American Prep School System, Canadian Junior Hockey and the CIS. I now get my competitive fix on the golf course as a scratch golfer. More to come: Kirk Butler PEI, Canada