Wings head back to Hockeytown down 2 games to 0


First Period
The first 10 minutes of the period was a poor display from a veteran team.  The Wings were sluggish and the Sharks came our with a fury of shots.  Howie, playing like a veteran, kept the Sharks scoreless giving the Wings the chance to strike first off an unassisted even strength goal by Datsyuk at 6:51.  This was his 4th goal of these playoffs and the Wings were 4-0 when he scored…unfortunately stats like that don’t win you playoff games.

The Wings kept the lead until Abdelkader was called for interference at 8:29, which led to a PP goal by none other than Pavelski at 9:01.  Every year I find an opposing player that makes me hold my breath every time he has the puck and I think I found him.  If the Canadiens can shut down Ovechkin surely we can shut down Pavelski.  Stuart failed to defend Pavelski later in the period which led to Clowe racking up another goal at 10:32.

The Wings were down, but not out.  Heatley was called for slashing which led to a PP goal by Homer at 13:17.  Rafalski wristed a shot from the point and Homer redirected it through the five hole.  Datsyuk was called for cross checking at 19:13 to give the Sharks another PP, but that was negated at the end of the second by a very bad boarding call on Marleau.

Second Period
Just as the penalty to Marleau expired Lidstrom slapped a shot from the top of the right face off circle and ringed the puck off the post and in.  It’s tallied as an ES goal, but it essentially was a PP goal.  Bertuzzi was called for interference at 6:11 because apparently the refs thought 6 minutes was too long for the Sharks to not have the man advantage.  The Wings were stellar and had no trouble clearing the puck for the first 90 seconds.  The Wings made quick line changes and kept fresh legs on the ice.  The last 30 seconds the Sharks put on some pressure,  but Howie proved to be our best penalty killer and capped the PK with a snow angel.

Stuart was called for interference at 17:03, the Wings killed it, and if it wasn’t for the diving defensive play of Murray to knock the puck away, Stuart and Helm would have had a 2 on 0.

Boyle tackled Bertuzzi at the end of the period, but no call.

Third Period
The third was a make it or break it for special teams.  We start off with Murray called for interference at 1:14.  Then Bertuzzi gets called for holding at 3:01, then Kronwall is called for hooking at 3:42, now we have a 5 on 3 for 1:19.  The Wings couldn’t clear the puck, were exhausted, and Pavelski (yeah, that guy again) scored with 21 seconds left on the penalty to Bertuzzi.  The replay showed Datsyuk frantically trying to play goalie and he prevented Howie from getting back in the net.  With 8 seconds left on Kronwall’s penalty Cleary was called for slashing (5:34).  The Wings were able to kill the penalty and keep the game tied.

Later in the period, Lidstrom broke his stick in the offensive zone which led to an odd man rush and a Thornton goal at 13:37.  The rest of the period was downhill with a penalty to Filpulla with 4 minutes to go and then too many men with less than 2 to go.

Game Notes
The first 10 minutes of the first looked like more of game 1.  The Wings were sluggish, but rebounded in the second half, despite the numerous penalties.  We saw a much better defensive showing by Lidstrom and Kronwall including a pick pocket by Zetterberg late in the first.  The Wings held their own in the second, but fell apart in the third.  The Wings had 10 penalties which is the most they’ve had since 1997.

I’m for “letting the guys play” or “a penalty in the regular season is a penalty in the playoffs”.  The interference penalties were a joke!  Sure the Sharks had 2 bad penalties called against them (boarding and goaltender interference), but these 2 teams were battling in the trenches and were hitting hard.  Even Datsyuk was dishing out some pretty good hits.   I just want the calls to be fair and if goaltender interference is brushing up against the goalie then call it both ways.