SAN JOSE -- What could have been a great road trip ended up being a pretty good one for the Red Wings.
Once again, the Wings rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game, had great chances in overtime but fell in the shootout, 4-3, to the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center Saturday night.
Detroit fell to 7-12-3 overall and finished the trip 1-0-2.
San Jose improved to 10-10-1 and the Sharks extended their winning streak to six games.
Andreas Athanasiou (two) and Taro Hirose scored for the Wings.
Kevin Labanc (one in regulation, shootout winner), Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Erik Karlsson (power play) scored for the Sharks.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard (2-8-1), making his first start since Nov. 6 in New York, made 16 saves, none bigger than getting his glove on a point-blank shot from Logan Couture in the slot with 1:40 left in regulation.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones (8-7-1) had 25 saves.
Up next for the Wings is a trip back home before hosting the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.
The Sharks welcome the Edmonton Oilers to the SAP Center Tuesday night.
1. Andreas Athanasiou: With his speed, Athanasiou is always an offensive threat. Even though he hasn't converted on all of his opportunities this season, Athanasiou is always ready when that next chance comes. Just 13 seconds after the Sharks had taken a 2-0 lead in the second period, Athanasiou split the defenders and beat Jones with a backhand at 1:24. Robby Fabbri and Joe Hicketts assisted. In the third period, with his team trailing, 3-2, Valtteri Filppula and Athanasiou broke in on a 2-on-1. Filppula is generally looking to pass but especially when someone like Athanasiou is on the receiving end and Athanasiou got his second of the game at 15:46 of the third. Fabbri got the second assist. In overtime, Athanasiou was breaking toward the net and Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was forced to trip him. With 15 seconds remaining in overtime, Dylan Larkin found Athanasiou speeding toward the net but Athanasiou's deflection went off the crossbar and over the net. In the shootout, Jones made a pad save on Athanasiou's attempt. Athanasiou finished with 24 shifts for 18:31, had a team-high four shots, two hits, was 0-for-1 in face-offs and was plus-1.
Quotable: "I'm not really sure. I'm doing the same thing. Puck's just finding its way to the back of the net now. Before, I was still doing those same moves and trying to do the same plays and it just wasn't going. Tonight, it just found a way to the back to the net. I just kind of turned it up as quick as possible and catch those two guys, I played it a little too far in front of him but he's got the boots to get there and he made a great play. It went bar out, it could have went bar in, but it just didn't go." - Athanasiou
Quotable II: "We knew it all along. I think he's had a tough start in training camp with a couple of injuries. For him to get going just helps our team and adds that - every time he gets on the ice, he's dangerous. We needed that badly. We all knew he had it in him and he knew he had it in him and it was just a matter of time. When he gets going, he can be one of the most dangerous players in the league. It's good for our team and it's good to add that to our lineup." - Larkin
Quotable III: "That line has been dangerous, they're creating chances. Filppula is playing real good hockey. I think Fabbri has been a good addition to that line. They look like another dangerous line. That helps for sure. The fact that he's starting to convert on those chances means he feels better about himself. I think he's competing really hard. I've really been impressed with his competitive level, his battle level, he's winning puck battles. So that's a great thing for us." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Taro Hirose: One of the things Hirose mentioned after the team's practice on Friday was that sitting out the last four games had given him an opportunity to see the game from above. So when he returned to the lineup Saturday in San Jose, he had a little better perspective on things. At 11:34 of the second period, Hirose went to the mid-slot area and was ready when Brendan Perlini sent the puck from the right boards, firing it past Jones' glove to tie the game at 2. Madison Bowey picked up the second assist. It was Hirose's first goal of the season and second of his career, the last coming March 31 against the Boston Bruins. It snapped a 20-game goal-less streak. Hirose finished with 14 shifts for 9:59, had one shot, two blocked shots and was even.
Quotable: "I thought that line was good. I thought Perlini was good. I thought the line was dangerous. I thought all four lines played pretty good. Overall, we played pretty good hockey, we weren't perfect. We played fast a lot of the time, I thought our gaps were better, I thought our O-zone offense was better. We leaked a little oil at the end of the hockey game but I thought we were good in overtime. We leave this trip, we got four out of six points. It's certainly disappointing the way the L.A. game ended and the fact we had a chance to win tonight. But in the end we got four of out of six points." - Blashill
3. Robby Fabbri/Luke Glendening: It is safe to say that in a short period of time, Fabbri has made himself a big part of the Wings' second line with Athanasiou and Filppula. In his Detroit debut, he had two power-play goals in a win over the Boston Bruins. With his two assists in San Jose, Fabbri has six points (2-4-6) in five games with the Wings. Fabbri finished with 22 shifts for 17:04, had three shots, one hit, one giveaway and was plus-2. Luke Glendening, on the other hand, was making his return to the lineup after missing 11 games after injuring his left hand blocking a shot in Ottawa on Oct. 23. Glendening made his presence felt immediately as the Wings took a penalty just two minutes into the game. Thirty seconds into the penalty kill, Glendening intercepted a pass and cleared the puck out. The Sharks did get a power-play goal when Karlsson's blast from the high slot eluded Howard. Glendening had 22 shifts for 13:31, had three shots, a team-high five hits, one giveaway, one takeaway, two blocked shots, was 8-of-14 in face-offs and was minus-1.
Quotable: "(Fabbri's) obviously a really good player, a lot of skill, he's fun to play with, I think we're still building our chem, all three of us. We're getting better each game, each shift. I think that's just the main goal, take steps forward every day and be the best we can be." - Athanasiou
Quotable II: "(Fabbri's) someone who makes plays. When he get the puck, he's not looking to dump it in and play it safe. He's a smart player that makes safe plays but he makes tape-to-tape plays. When he gets the puck, he's moving his feet and he's looking for is linemates. You've seen it with Val and Double-A, they're playing their best hockey since he's come on board. It's good to have a guy that makes guys around him better. That's exactly what he does. Having him has been a huge spark for our team." - Larkin
Quotable III: "(Fabbri's) a good player. He came in the league and was a really, really good player. Battled through a number of injuries, kind of found himself on the outside looking in in St. Louis, on a team that's a Stanley Cup champion team, you can't question that at all. Here, he's had the opportunity to play and know he's going to go back out the next shift if he makes a mistake or not. That's the reality of the situation we're in and we can afford him that opportunity and he's grabbed it." - Blashill
Quotable IV: "Glenny played great. I thought him and Helmer (Darren Helm) worked really well together and they worked really hard. He does it all. To have him out there battling and skating as hard as he could, it was great to see him out there. I know he wanted to be back in the lineup bad. He's one of the toughest guys I've ever played with. It was great for him to be back." - Larkin