The Wings had a few good chances in the first, but noted Wings killer Antti Niemi was there to stop each advance. The teams managed solid chances after, but they weren’t plentiful. However, the Sharks struck first after Joe Pavelski scored a fluke goal in the final minute. The shot went off the leg of Niklas Kronwall and in in the period’s final minute. Sharks 1, Red Wings 0.
The second period was much like the first; fluid, penalty-less, end-to-end play with some good opportunities. The shots were 16-16 after two, which isn’t a particularly high amount, but the Wings weren’t playing terribly despite their fourth West Coast game in less than a week. The score remained 1-0 San Jose after 40 minutes.
The Sharks extended the lead to 2-0 2:07 into the third as converted forward Brent Burns put one home. After that the Sharks relaxed somewhat but despite good chances and even the game’s first power play, Detroit couldn’t crack Niemi. They finished the third period with 11 shots after managing 16 in the first two, but got shut out in San Jose, 2-0.
Yeah, it sucks to lose, but the Wings were in such good position prior to tonight that this loss doesn’t sting too badly. Collecting six out of possible eight points on a Pacific Division swing is nothing to sneeze at, and in the process the Wings put themselves five points clear of the ninth spot. A big game looms this weekend against the no-longer-unbeatable Blackhawks at the Joe.