Sharks-Red Wings Preview
GAME: San Jose Sharks (3-2-0) at Detroit Red Wings (5-1-0).
TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EDT.
With each team looking to keep a winning streak intact, the San Jose Sharks travel to Joe Louis Arena to face the Detroit Red Wings in a matchup of high-scoring clubs.
Detroit has scored 24 goals through six games while San Jose has 20 through five, making them two of the Western Conference's most prolific offensive teams.
Patrick Marleau scored two power-play goals in the second period Saturday as San Jose snapped an 0-for-12 drought on the power play and beat Chicago 4-3. Jonathan Cheechoo also scored and Marco Sturm had a goal and an assist for the Sharks.
The Sharks have taken advantage in the early going of the NHL's attempt to increase offense.
"With those new rules, you can't sit back and protect a lead," said Marleau, who has four goals and two assists this season. "You've got to keep going after it, keep gunning and trying to score whenever you can."
San Jose has won three in a row, recording at least four goals per game and outscoring opponents 15-10 during that span.
Still, San Jose coach Ron Wilson saw something he didn't like Saturday.
"We didn't move the puck quickly enough against a pressure team," Wilson said.
The Sharks may need to address that issue promptly, as they will be opening a season-high six-game road trip against Detroit.
The Red Wings won their second straight Saturday night, 2-0 over Phoenix. Detroit seemed to benefit from the absence of Coyotes forward Brett Hull, who announced his retirement two hours before the game began.
Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each had a goal, and Manny Legace notched 23 saves to give the Red Wings their first shutout of the season.
"The boys have been playing real well in front of me," Legace said. "I think this was our best defensive night. We didn't let any breakaways or 2-on-1s."
Despite its high-powered offense, Detroit likely would not be 5-1 if not for Legace, who has a 2.01 goals-against average and a 91 percent save percentage.
"He's 5-1 and he plays every night," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Why wouldn't he play if he's playing good. When you're playing good, you want to play."
STANDINGS (through Oct. 15): Sharks - 6 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 10 points, 1st place (tied), Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Marleau, 4 goals and 7 points; Milan Michalek, 4 assists; Kyle McLaren, 12 PIM. Red Wings - Mikael Samuelsson, 4 goals; Jason Williams, 7 assists; Zetterberg, 8 points; Brendan Shanahan, 19 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 15): Sharks - Power play: 13.5 percent (5 for 37), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.0 percent (24 for 30), 22nd (tied). Red Wings - Power play: 23.7 percent (9 for 38), 5th. Penalty killing: 94.4 percent (34 for 36), 1st (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (3-1-0, 3.27 GAA); Vesa Toskala (0-1-0, 10.91). Red Wings - Legace (5-1-0, 1 SO, 2.01); Chris Osgood (no appearances).
SEASON SERIES: 2-2.
LAST MEETING: March 23, 2004. Sharks, 5-2. At San Jose, Calif., Cheechoo scored two goals and Nabokov made 37 saves to lift the Sharks.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 1-2-0 on the road; Red Wings - 2-1-0 at home.