DETROIT -- Exactly one year later to the day, the Detroit Red Wings dropped a gut-wrenching overtime loss in Game 3 of a Western Conference Semifinal series on Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena to fall behind 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks.
It was even the exact same final score -- 4-3 -- that San Jose put the Red Wings in a precarious position 365 days ago. The only differences were the Sharks didn't have to overcome a two-goal deficit in the third and instead of Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals, it was Dan Boyle and Devin Setoguchi.
Either way, it was another gut punch to the Wings, who've now dropped seven of the last eight playoff games between the two teams – all by one goal with two in overtime.
Talking about it afterward was Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who tried his best to ease the sting for himself and his teammates.
Q: Your emotions after this loss?
A: It's a tough loss, especially having the lead with I think about 4:00 left in the third period and them scoring a goal and taking it to overtime. Then not capitalizing on the power play we had in overtime and they come down on a rush and score the winning goal.
Q: Was there any sense in the third period that you were sort of killing off time rather than continuing to put your foot on the gas pedal?
A: Yeah, in a way, but they're coming after us a little bit more, too, so we were kind of forced to do that. We talked about that after the second period, not to back off and keep going after them when we could. I thought we did at times, but they were coming after us a bit more when they were down a goal.
Q: It's a big hole you're in, but it looks like anything is possible nowadays. Is that what you have to cling to?
A: We just have to get ready for that next game. We know what we have to do. Otherwise it's over. The mentality is just going in there and winning one game, just winning that Game 4.
Q: What was it about that third period that sort of held you back?
A: They were getting after us more, coming after us with the (defensemen) joining the rush and just playing from behind trying to catch up. On that tying goal, I think we just lost coverage in our own zone and they got the tying goal. It's a tough way to lose, especially having the lead going into the third period and having the lead with about four minutes left. That's a tough way to lose.”
Q: Are you starting to wonder what you have to do to beat these guys?
A: Well, we're close. We're right there with them. It's just a matter of paying attention to details, coverage in our own zone and all the games have been so close. A one goal game, one little mistake can decide a game – and that's what we're seeing so far.
Q: Do you think Antti Niemi looked a little more vulnerable tonight?
A: Yeah I thought we were getting more pucks at him, being there for rebounds and just putting more pressure on. I think that's how we scored a couple of the goals, too.
Q: Did it feel kind of like déjà vu from last year at all, having them score late in the third and then winning it in overtime?
A: No, you don't think about what happened last year. This is a new season, a new playoffs and we know what we have to do in Game 4. We have to go out there and just win one game to force this into another game. We know what's at hand. You have to break it down and not look at the big picture. If you try to break it down and look at that next game to know what you have to do to win one game.”