The San Jose Sharks are celebrating their twentieth season in the NHL while the Detroit Red Wings are celebrating their twentieth consecutive playoff appearance.
After dropping game one 2-1 to the Sharks the Red Wings dropped game two by the same score – and gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the series.
Unlike the game one start that saw Darren Helm rack up a hit three seconds in game two got off to an early shot by Pavel Datsyuk that would blocked by Antti Niemi. Just seconds later it would be Sharks Ryan Clowe heading to the penalty box after he was called for roughing for taking down Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski.
Welcome to the first minute of the game.
The penalty that was assessed to Clowe would be killed off by the Sharks with out incident until they would be rewarded with their own power play after Red Wings Justin Abdelkader hi-sticked Logan Couture.
The Sharks would be on the power play while Abdelkder sat in the penalty box; which would once again be key for the Sharks as they would score the first goal of the game. It would be Ian White (starting to see a pattern here Abby – stop it. Stop it now.) with the shot that got past Jimmy Howard.
Wasn’t long after White made it 1-0 for the home team that Sharks Benn Ferriero would go from game one hero to possible zero as he would be called for a double minor hi-sticking penalty. Ferriero clipped Abdelkaer, whom for once was on the opposite end of the hi-sticking, in the face.
The insuring Detroit power play had only one real chance in the four minutes of man advantage; it of course came from Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk rifled off a shot that got passed Niemi’s glove, but chipped off the goal post behind him.
Shortly after there would be a big net front battle between Tomas Holmstrom and Sharks Dan Boyle that would see Boyle do things that would normally see Holmstrom sent to the penalty box. Oh well. Holmstrom could of gone just as easy in that battle and he didn’t need any extra help with that today as it would be Holmstrom with a penalty early in the second period for holding that shockingly lead to Darren Helm with a short handed break that of course would be stopped by Niemi with no other Wing in the offensive zone to pick up the rebound.
One of the more humorous moments (and also frustrating moments) was when Todd Bertuzzi laid a nice clean hit on Dany Heatly that some how resulted in Ben Eager in the Red Wings bench. Both Bertuzzi and Eager would sit for two minutes in the penalty box for roughing following the altercation. Shortly after their penalties expired Eager would find himself sitting for an additional ten minutes after he was given a misconduct for dropping the gloves.
In traditional Red Wings Brian Rafalski (rather than Team USA Brian Rafaksi) the $6 million a year defenseman would get an automatic penalty for delay of game after he put the puck over the glass.
Not to take anything away from Jimmy Howard, whom was the best player on the ice for Detroit today, it would be Datsyuk with the save of the game. Datsyuk would show the hockey world on national (Canada and US) broadcast why he should win the Selke again as he would launch the puck from out of the crease from behind Howard; and all the way down the ice to keep it a one goal game as the teams were about to head into the second intermission.
You would think the team would rally behind such a show of over all skill. Less than two minutes into the third the Sharks would capitalize on a very shaky start to the period for Detroit to double their lead 2-0 over Hockeytown.
Finally getting the Red Wings on the score board would be Henrik Zetterberg, on the man advantage after a slashing penalty was assessed to Devin Setoguchi late in the game, to cut the Sharks lead in half.
A last minute effort by Detroit, including the pulling Howard from net, would be too little too late. There would be no equalizer goal from the Wings to force overtime and see hope of a tied series coming to Hockeytown on Wednesday.
Sharks hold the series 2-0 over the Red Wings and the next game is not until Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. local time in Detroit.