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Wings aim to force a Game 7 against Sharks

by Dave Lozo /

(Sharks lead best-of-seven series, 3-2)


Big Story -- Every time the Red Wings look like they're out, they pull themselves back in. Facing a 3-0 series deficit in Game 4, they didn't get rattled when the Sharks scored three straight goals to tie the game at 3-3. Darren Helm scored late to give the Wings a series-saving win. In Game 5, the Sharks held a two-goal lead in the third period, but the Red Wings scored three straight to force a Game 6. Detroit can force a decisive Game 7 back in San Jose if they can find a way to win at Joe Louis Arena.

Team Scope:

Sharks -- After taking 10-of-12 from the Red Wings, there was a notion that perhaps the Sharks were in the heads of their tormentors. But with two inspired performances with their backs to the wall, the Red Wings are showing they're not ready to go away just yet.

The Sharks played two great periods in Game 5, but fell apart after taking a two-goal lead less than a minute into the third period. They now must find a way to improve, or it will come down to a Game 7 on home ice Thursday night.

"I have a pretty good idea what I'm going to share with our club later on today," coach Todd McLellan said. "We'll have a meeting and we'll keep that inside the locker room. We worked hard all year to prepare for these moments. We'll make sure that we take it up a notch higher than we did last night."

Red Wings -- There was never a doubt in the minds of players when they were down 3-0 in the series, and there wasn't any doubt when they were down two goals in Game 5.

"There’s a calmness," second-year goalie Jimmy Howard said of Detroit's mood when falling behind 3-0 in the series. "There's a lot of experience in our dressing room and when your leaders have been through a lot, you just look to them. When you see (Lidstrom's) face and see how calm he is, it just trickles down."

"That's what's got us to this point," GM Ken Holland said. "When we were down 3-0, nobody wanted to go home. We plan to be flying back for Game 7."

Who's Hot -- Devin Setoguchi has come alive this round for the Sharks. He has 4 goals in 5 games against the Red Wings. … Pavel Datsyuk has been a force against San Jose, posting a goal and 6 assists.

Injury Report -- Red Wings forward Johan Franzen (ankle) was in obvious pain during Game 5 and did not play at all during the third period. He will likely be a game-time decision. If he can't go, Jiri Hudler or Mike Modano could take his place.

Stat Pack -- It's no coincidence that in the two losses, the Sharks are 0-for-6 on the power play. In their three wins, they are 4-for-15. … The Red Wings have never come back to win a series when trailing 3-0 but have come back from a 3-1 deficit twice.

Puck Drop -- "Right now we need him to be better. It's a simple as that. We need him to be better offensively and defensively, but again I'm talking about one individual. There are others on that line. There are a pair that are on that ice at that given time. There is a goaltender and there are a number of other people that have to pick up their play." -- Sharks coach Todd McLellan on Patrick Marleau and Antti Niemi

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