February 27, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey (27) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the first period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Red Wings 2, Sharks 1: Brunner Takes Bite Out Of Sharks In Shootout Win

Feb 26, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau(12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in a shootout against the Colorado Avalanche at HP Pavilion. The San Jose Sharks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports


In the first period, the Wings outshot the Sharks 11-9 and got a couple nice opportunities against Sharks netminder Antti Niemi.  Unfortunately, the Wings also failed to convert on a power play in this period, bringing their road power play to a staggeringly bad 0-for-32.  Detroit didn’t show any ill effects from last night’s late loss, and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson looked good, making some impressive saves.  No score after one.

The teams returned to the ice after intermission and San Jose began to take control, holding the Wings to only one shot on net through the first ten minutes while managing six shots of their own. The Sharks seemed a little quicker and were definitely more physical, but Jonas Gustavsson and the Wings held the Sharks off.  Good, fluid hockey was being played at this point. Again, although the Sharks were the quicker and more physical team, the Wings were by no means lacking in effort or energy.  Late in the period, Jordin Tootoo took a boarding penalty, and after Gustavsson made a huge save, Patrick Marleau went to the box for goaltender interference.  The Wings failed to convert on this latest opportunity, falling to 0-33         on the road.  After two, the Wings were outshooting the Sharks 17-16 , and there was no score.

Much like the second period, it was the Sharks that came out the stronger team as the third period began.  Their work payed off as Logan Couture scored less than five minutes in, but the Wings came back. Niklas Kronwall fired a shot less than two minutes later that redirected in off Patrick Eaves‘ skate, tying the game at one.  The score would remain there through the end of regualtion and through an overtime period, which brought us to the shootout.

Michal Handzus opened the shootout with a miss for San Jose; his attempt missed the net completely.  Pavel Datsyuk followed and was stopped by Antti Niemi.  Patrick Marleau went next, and he was foiled by Gustavsson’s pads.  Damien Brunner followed for Detroit and scored on a nifty move.  Ryane Clowe was the last hope for San Jose, and his attempt was no good, preserving the 2-1 win for Detroit.

Big win for the Red Wings, as they finished 1-1 on this short West Coast road trip and played pretty well in two 2-1 games.  Jonas Gustavsson was wonderful in his first start of 2013, stopping 25 Sharks shots to help the Wings to just their third victory over the Sharks in the last ten.  Patrick Eaves scored his first goal in a long time, and you can’t help but feel good for him.  With the victory, the Wings shoot up the Western Conference table; they’re now tied for fourth after beginning the game in 11th.

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