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Sharks edge Red Wings in Datsyuk's season debut

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- Melker Karlsson, Matt Nieto and Joe Pavelski scored to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

San Jose (8-8-0), which got 26 saves from goalie Martin Jones, had 14 shots on goal.

"We had some quality chances," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "Obviously didn't get as many shots as we'd like, but we had quality chances."

It was the first of a six-game road trip for San Jose, which will visit the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

"Just trying to focus and take it one game at a time," Jones said. "I know it's a cliche, but on these long road trips, that's what we're trying to do."

Jones was pulled after giving up two goals in the first 3:30 of a 4-2 home loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

"We needed him to bounce back," DeBoer said. "We needed him to give a solid performance."

Tomas Tatar and Teemu Pulkkinen scored for Detroit (8-7-1) in Pavel Datsyuk's season debut.

Datsyuk was recovering from June 26 surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle. He had four shots in 20:53 of ice time.

"I had a couple good chances, but I would have liked to score one. That would have been huge for the team tonight," Datsyuk said. "It was fun to be back out there, but everyone was just flying by me in the first period. It got a little better every shift, and by the third I was moving OK. Maybe tomorrow they won't have to keep waiting for me to catch up to them."

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Detroit played well for the first half of the game.

"I thought we played pretty well until their third goal, and that really deflated us too much," he said. "You can't get that down in that situation. After that, we started trying to get cute instead of working for good shots. That's something I really hadn't seen this year until the second half of tonight's game."

Pulkkinen scored his fifth goal with 1:52 left and Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard pulled for the extra attacker to make it close. His one-time slap shot from the top of the left circle deflected in off Sharks defenseman Justin Braun's skate.

"We did a good job in the third period," Jones said. "We didn't have a lot of time in the offensive zone, but we didn't give up a lot."

Tatar gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead 3:13 into the game when he beat Jones with a wrist shot from the right circle off the rush. It was Tatar's fourth goal.

Karlsson tied it 7:41 into the first when he chipped a backhand shot past Howard for his first goal of the season.

"That first one can't go in," Howard said. "That's on me."

Nieto made it 2-1 with 2:08 left in the first when he put in his own rebound from near the bottom of the right circle. It was his third goal.

Pavelski made it 3-1 with 9:37 left in the second period when he redirected defenseman Paul Martin's shot from the point past Howard for his ninth goal.

"I never saw that one," Howard said. "I had to look at the big screen to figure out what happened."

Datsyuk hit the post 2:32 into the third period, and Tatar hit the crossbar at 6:12.

The Sharks are 8-1-1 in Detroit dating to Nov. 5, 2009.

"We needed a win tonight. I thought we played a good road game," DeBoer said. "They outshot us, but we've been on the wrong side of a few of those at home. … We kept their shots from the outside."

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