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Red Wings renew rivalry with Sharks

by Mike G. Morreale /
SHARKS (33-21-6) at RED WINGS (37-16-6)
TV --
Last 10 -- Sharks 8-2-0; Red Wings 7-3-0
Season series -- This is the third of four meetings between the Western Conference rivals. The Red Wings won the series opener 5-3 on Nov. 30 at the HP Pavilion, while the Sharks earned a 5-2 victory in Detroit on Dec. 6. In their most recent meeting, rookie Logan Couture scored twice and goalie Antti Niemi made 25 saves.
Big story -- Sharks general manager Doug Wilson addressed a need along the blue line last Friday when he acquired Ian White from the Carolina Hurricanes. Wilson dealt a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft for White, a 27-year-old who played 55 games this season with Calgary and Carolina, totaling 2 goals and 16 points. He had an assist -- the 100th of his career -- Saturday against Colorado in his first game with the Sharks, and played 18:08 paired with Niclas Wallin.
"He's a good puck-mover, a good first-passer," Wilson said. "He plays the point on the power play. He's very competitive. He's kind of an over-achiever. We think he's a good player at creating offense, moving pucks and shooting pucks."
Team Scope:
Sharks --
San Jose is 12-2-1 over its last 15 games and sits fourth in the Western Conference with 72 points, one behind third-place Phoenix. The team is coming off a 4-0 victory -- its third straight win -- against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Devin Setoguchi collected his first career hat trick and Niemi stopped 25 shots in the win. It was Niemi's fifth shutout of the season and the 12th of his career.
Red Wings -- Todd Bertuzzi celebrated his 1,000th career NHL game in style Sunday, scoring a pretty top-shelf goal to clinch a 2-1 shootout victory Minnesota. Bertuzzi became the 261st player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-game milestone. The victory was a season-high fifth straight for the Wings, who received a 25-save performance by Jimmy Howard. Howard stopped Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen in the shootout.
Who's hot -- The Sharks' Setoguchi has 12 points in his last 12 games (8 goals, 4 assists). … Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler is making the most of his opportunity playing on a line with Pavel Datsyuk, scoring 2 goals and 9 points in seven games together.
Injury report -- San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper-body) and goalie Antero Niittymaki (lower-body) are listed as day-to-day. … Detroit is still without forwards Valtteri Filppula (knee) and Mike Modano (wrist), and goalie Chris Osgood (sports hernia surgery). Filppula might return Thursday.
Stat pack -- Detroit All-Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom currently ranks ninth all-time among NHL blueliners with 249 goals, sixth with 844 assists and sixth with 1,093 points.
Puck drop -- "I was lucky to get a second shot at coming back to Detroit, playing some fun hockey and around some quality, quality guys," said Bertuzzi following his milestone game. "I've played on some good teams and with some good players, but I'm pretty proud and excited to be playing in a Detroit uniform."
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