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Sharks v Red Wings - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals

Red Wings never stopped believing

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Jimmy Howard said it's all about the chance awaiting the Red Wings in less than 48 hours.

"These are moments we dream about," Howard said.

Just six days earlier, however, it was more like a waking nightmare for the Red Wings.

The San Jose Sharks won three straight games and had such a stranglehold on this Western Conference Semifinal series. All signs pointed to a second straight defeat of the Red Wings in the playoffs, and more people were getting nostalgic thinking about the possibility of Nicklas Lidstrom playing the final game of his illustrious NHL career.

Sharks can't put Wings away -- again

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- It was all set up for the San Jose Sharks to do exactly what they'd already done once at Joe Louis Arena in this Western Conference Semifinal series.

Goalie Antti Niemi turned away everything he saw for more than 50 minutes, and the Sharks were up 1-0 despite being thoroughly outplayed by the Detroit Red Wings. Just as they did in Game 3 in this building, the Sharks were poised to steal another game – one that would've ended Detroit's season this time.

Instead, it all unraveled in the last 10 minutes of the game and Detroit tied the series at 3-3 by rallying for a 3-1 win in front of 20,066 delirious fans.

"The performance tonight was disappointing," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "One team skated. The other team did not skate at all and that was pretty evident right through the first two periods."

Thornton says Sharks have to forget Game 6

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT – It was almost the complete opposite of Game 5 except for one thing: The team that got outplayed for most of the game actually lost Game 6 of this Western Conference Semifinal series between the San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings again came from behind in the third period for the second straight game to edge the Sharks 3-1 and force a Game 7 on Thursday night in San Jose. The Sharks actually outplayed Detroit in Game 5, but wound up losing that one by allowing three goals in the third period after grabbing a 3-1 lead.

In this one, Detroit dominated the action for almost the entire game and again wound up on top. For the Sharks, however, all is not lost – they still have the final game on home ice, just as the Vancouver Canucks did in the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks in the same scenario.

Filppula finally lands on scoresheet for Wings

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- Valtteri Filppula finally showed up on the scoresheet during the Western Conference Semifinals, and it couldn't have come at a bigger time for the Detroit Red Wings.

With the San Jose Sharks leading 1-0 midway through the third period, Filppula picked up a secondary assist on Henrik Zetterberg's tying goal -- although he did most of the work by putting a move on defenseman Jason Demers -- then scored the winner 2:54 later as the Red Wings staved off elimination for a third straight game.

Detoit's 3-1 victory Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena sets up a potentially historic Game 7 on Thursday night in San Jose. If the Red Wings win, they'll be the fourth team in NHL history to win a series after going down 3-0.

Aggressive defense playing big role for Wings

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings were all but officially finished.

After Logan Couture beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard just 54 seconds into the third period on Sunday night at HP Pavilion, it seemed like the San Jose Sharks were poised to end this Western Conference Semifinal series in five games -- just as they did against the Red Wings a year ago.

That goal put them up 3-1 in the game and Detroit reporters were probably starting to write the Red Wings' 2011 obituary. Instead a goal by defenseman Jonathan Ericsson just 2:49 after Couture's made it 3-2 and gave the Red Wings hope.

Sharks look for someone to fill Clowe's void

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- With Ryane Clowe out of the lineup for the San Jose Sharks for Tuesday night's Game 6, it offers a chance for players to step up in his absence against the Detroit Red Wings, who have turned a 3-0 deficit in the best-of-7 Western Conference Semifinal series into a 3-2 hole with two straight wins.

Perhaps the player who will rise to the occasion will be Patrick Marleau, who has yet to score a point this series after registering 37 goals and 36 assists during the regular season and 2 goals and 3 assists in the Sharks' six-game victory against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round.

Marleau was asked Tuesday morning what the Sharks would need to do without Clowe, who is tied for the League lead in playoff points with 13.

"Everybody has to pick it up that much more," Marleau said. "He's a big part of this team and it's an opportunity for someone to step up."

Sharks' Clowe does not make trip to Detroit

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

DETROIT -- San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe, who is tied for the lead in playoff points with 13, will not play against the Red Wings in Game 6 of their Western Conference Semifinal series on Tuesday night.

Coach Todd McLellan announced Tuesday morning that Clowe is dealing with an upper-body injury and did not make the trip to Detroit with the team.

"It puts a little more pressure on other players," McLellan said. "He's obviously an important guy to our hockey club. It's not about the ones that are out of the lineup. It's about the ones that are in."

Clowe was hit hard by Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall during Game 5, but did not leave the game due to injury. Clowe was on the ice for the final 1:20 as the Sharks pressed for the tying goal before falling 4-3.

Wings put Modano back in lineup for Franzen

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Many Detroit Red Wings fans are getting their wish for Tuesday night's Game 6 of a Western Conference Semifinal series at Joe Louis Arena.

Injured forward Johan Franzen (ankle) will not dress against the Sharks and will be replaced by veteran forward Mike Modano, a hometown favorite who grew up in the Detroit suburb of Westland, Mich. It will be the first game in this series for Modano, who only played one game -- also for the injured Franzen -- in Detroit's first-round sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes.

"It was tough last night sleeping, knowing that I was playing and there was no mystery about it," said Modano, 40, whom some would argue is the greatest American-born player in NHL history. "It wasn't coming here and waiting and seeing after warm-up or whatever. In some sense that's good. In some sense that's bad. I mean, you get kind of restless sleep, but then again you have time to really think about what you want to do as a player and what's expected of you. It's a Game 6, elimination game and the fans are going to be very revved up."

Wings believe they'll find way back to San Jose

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

DETROIT -- It’s a delicate balance the Detroit Red Wings are trying to strike right now, still trailing the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in a Western Conference Semifinal series.

On the one hand, despite riding two straight wins while facing elimination, they’re still down 3-2 in the series after dropping the first three. So they’re trying to say all the right things.

They’re approaching it one game at a time. They haven’t lost sight of the fact the Sharks can end their season and the series in Game 6 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. Versus, TSN). Yet, on the other hand there’s also an air of confidence starting to creep into their comments -- such as those given on Monday afternoon after returning from San Jose.

Standing in front of the team plane, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was asked how much he wanted to get back on it Wednesday for a return trip to San Jose to play a Game 7 at HP Pavilion.

Sharks confident they'll bounce back

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE, Calif. – It was just 54 seconds into the third period Sunday night at HP Pavilion when rookie Logan Couture took a pass from Dany Heatley and scored on a breakaway, giving the Sharks a 3-1 lead against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinals series.

At that point, the Shark Tank erupted. San Jose, up 3-1 in the series, appeared on the verge of turning the game into a rout and advancing to conference finals.

Not so fast. Before the Sharks knew what hit them, the Red Wings scored three times and escaped with a 4-3 victory, forcing a Game 6 on Tuesday night at Detroit.

"This is hockey," said Sharks defenseman Niclas Wallin. "We didn't relax. I thought we fought hard today and put up a lot of shots. But they're a good team and they're not going to give up. Today, it (stinks) right now. Just got to forget about this and come back. We know we can play against these guys. We showed that tonight. Right now it's obviously frustrating, but we'll come back. It's going to make us stronger. We're still in control here. You've got to remember that."
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