Captain Patrick Marleau scored two of San Jose's five power-play goals and the Sharks rolled to the best start in franchise history with their sixth victory in seven games, 5-1 over the sloppy Red Wings on Thursday night.
Detroit committed 16 minor penalties in a night-long parade to the box, and the Sharks responded with the best power-play performance in club history. San Jose felt almost guilty after playing much of the night with a man advantage.
"It's just about taking advantage of your opportunities, and we did that," Marleau said. "They kept putting the puck over the glass (for delay-of-game penalties). Everybody is doing great, and hopefully we can keep it going."
Milan Michalek, Mark Bell and Marleau scored in the first 15 minutes to chase Detroit goalie Chris Osgood. Jonathan Cheechoo and Marleau added third-period goals as the Sharks tied their club record for power-play scores, set last February in another home game against Detroit. They also tied the Red Wings' franchise record for man-advantage goals allowed.
Vesa Toskala made 21 saves to extend his unbeaten streak to 11 games dating to last spring, but lost the chance for his first shutout on Jiri Hudler's goal with 8:52 to play.
San Jose improved to 6-1 for the first time in franchise history, surpassing its 5-2 start to the 1994-95 season by taking advantage of Detroit's profoundly sloppy play.
"Our main focus coming into camp was to get off to a good start," said rookie Matt Carle, who had two assists to take the NHL scoring lead among defensemen. "We've worked hard, and now we just have to continue building."
Michalek moved into the team lead in scoring with a goal and two assists for the Sharks, who have scored 28 goals this season - another franchise record after seven games. They're unbeaten in four home games, and blew a three-goal lead in their only loss at Edmonton last week.
Toskala wasn't challenged much while winning his fourth straight start in his platoon with Evgeni Nabokov, who has two shutouts this season.
"We took advantage of a team that was a little leg-weary," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "I thought if we got the puck in deep and we skated through the neutral zone, we'd get a number of power plays."
One night after committing 14 penalties and giving up three power-play goals in a 4-1 loss at Anaheim, the Red Wings were mistake-prone again on the third stop of a four-game road trip. Detroit, which won 12 of its first 13 games last season on the way to the Presidents' Trophy, is 3-3-1 this season.
"We can't put ourselves in that situation," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "It's the same penalty situation all over again. You can't give that many chances to a team that good."
San Jose scored on its first three power-play opportunities, with Michalek starting it off with his team-leading sixth goal. Bell deflected home a shot by Carle, and Marleau added his second of the year 3 minutes later.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock yanked Osgood after his club fell behind 3-0, though only Marleau's goal seemed easily stoppable. Osgood, getting just his second start as Dominik Hasek's backup, was replaced by third-string goalie Joey MacDonald, who stopped 13 shots.
"I thought we played real good," Babcock said. "It was just every time they had a power play, the puck found a way into the net. Good thing we have a day off to regroup."
Cheechoo added his fourth goal of the season - again on the power play - midway through the third on a pass from MVP Joe Thornton, who had two assists. Marleau added another at the close of a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage, popping the puck over a pile in front of the net.
Notes: In Osgood's last start in San Jose, the veteran gave up six goals and still won 7-6 last season. ... After Saturday's game against unbeaten Minnesota, the Sharks head out on a five-game East Coast trip. Detroit will host San Jose next week. ... Michalek has a career-best five-game scoring streak. Four of his six goals are power-play scores.
|PPG - Milan Michalek (6) ASST: Matthew Carle (5), Christian Ehrhoff (1)|
1 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Mark Bell (3) ASST: Matthew Carle (6), Jonathan Cheechoo (5)|
2 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Patrick Marleau (2) ASST: Steve Bernier (6), Milan Michalek (3)|
3 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Jonathan Cheechoo (4) ASST: Joe Thornton (8), Christian Ehrhoff (2)|
4 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Patrick Marleau (3) ASST: Joe Thornton (9), Mark Bell (1)|
5 - 0 SJS
|PPG - Jiri Hudler (1) ASST: Mathieu Schneider (3), Johan Franzen (4)|
5 - 1 SJS
|Power Play %||23.8%||21.6%|
|% on Road||20.7%||19.5%|
|% at Home||26.6%||23.8%|
|Jiri Hudler Tripping against Kyle McLaren|
|Marcel Goc Tripping against Niklas Kronwall|
|Tomas Kopecky Hooking against Jonathan Cheechoo|
|Brett Lebda Hi-sticking against Marc-Edouard Vlasic|
|Brett Lebda Hi-sticking against Marc-Edouard Vlasic|
|Mark Smith Hooking against Niklas Kronwall|
|Kirk Maltby Holding against Jonathan Cheechoo|
|Johan Franzen Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Mathieu Schneider Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Danny Markov Hooking against Ville Nieminen|
|Henrik Zetterberg Diving against Curtis Brown|
|Curtis Brown Hooking against Henrik Zetterberg|
|Joe Thornton Cross checking against Niklas Kronwall|
|Robert Lang Holding against Jonathan Cheechoo|
|Patrick Rissmiller Elbowing against Pavel Datsyuk|
|Robert Lang Hooking|
|Curtis Brown Hi-sticking|
|Pavel Datsyuk Tripping against Joe Thornton|
|Mathieu Schneider Holding against Mark Smith|
|Niklas Kronwall Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Chris Chelios Roughing against Milan Michalek|
|Milan Michalek Roughing against Chris Chelios|
|Marcel Goc Tripping against Henrik Zetterberg|
|Tomas Kopecky Holding against Joe Thornton|
|Christian Ehrhoff Holding against Jiri Hudler|