The series may have shifted to Detroit however the outcome did not; as the Red Wings fell just short again to the San Jose Sharks to fall behind 3-0. Both teams had the powerplay firing on all cylinders as both teams managed to go 2-4 on PP and Devin Setogouchi provided hockey fans the first hat-trick of the postseason.. in dramatic style. The Sharks managed to come out on top 4-3 in OT for the second time in this series and with the win they managed their 3rd straight 1 goal win over the Red Wings. The Sharks dominated the play in the first 2 games however Detroit did a better job of controlling the tempo and using the body in this 3rd game and for the first time in this series they probably deserved a better outcome.
The Sharks got the scoring underway at the 13 minute mark of the first with Setogouchi potting his first of the night on the PP as he batted in a lose puck in front of the net as Howard scrambled to get back into position after Pavelski missed high and wide from the slot. The Red Wings countered on a PP of their own with just 20 seconds left in the first as Zetterberg jumped on a lose puck in front of the net with Niemi down and out. Zetterberg’s slight window of opportunity closed too quickly so he decided to show everyone in Detroit that although his legs may not be 100 percent his creativity hadn’t lost a step at all; he completed a beauty drop pass between the legs to Lidstrom who had no problem firing the puck into the empty net.
The trend of players jumping all over loose pucks in front of the net continued in the second with Patrick Eaves putting scoring the first goal of the period after a Darren Helm wrap around attempt failed. The Sharks countered quickly on the PP though as Setogouchi attempted a one-timer from the left circle however he only managed to get a piece of the puck and the change-up fooled Howard finding the far side of the net. All the two teams had managed to reach a series high 4 goals before the end of the second period the Wings would manage yet another late PP goal as Datsyuk sniped a beauty top shelf with only 1:43 remaining in the period to give them lead heading into the third.
The Sharks came out flying in the 3rd as they needed a goal to tie things up and much like the Wings in game 2 they put everything they could on the net managing 16 shots in the period’; and with 4:30 remaining in the 3rd Dan Boyle snuck in from the point and tied the game up with his first goal of the postseason beating Howard high glove side. We would for the second time in this series be treated to overtime.
Unlike most OT’s this post season it only took 5 minutes for the zebras to call their first penalty and unfortunately for Sharks fans a former Canuck stole a trick from a current Canuck as Bertuzzi did an amazing job duping the officials into calling Setogouchi for holding. I can honestly say it’s the first time I have ever seen the guy that was supposed to be the holder fly through the air as the guy being held fell to the ground. It was so obvious that Bertuzzi had grabbed Setogouchi’s hand and fell in an attempt to get the call. Unfortunately for Red Wings fans the hockey gods must have tuned into this game (unlike Game 3 in Nashville) as Setogouchi would score the game winner only a few minutes after being released from the sin bin. It was a wrist shot from the top of the circle that managed to find it’s way through Jimmy Howard; a goal he really should have had.
Well although personally I believe this series is over it will officially be do or die time for the Wings Friday night as they host the Sharks for game 4 of this series and potentially what could be Niclas Lidstrom’s last game in the NHL.
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