EPILOGUE: Game 7 on Thursday in San Jose. Niemi made great saves. But it just wasn't enough. The series is now tied 3-3.
19:50 -- We had a few dog piles and a few glove droppings after the whistle. It's 4x4 hockey.
18:55 -- Darren Helm gets the empty net goal. Detroit 3, San Jose 1. Helm scores his third of the playoffs. Goal is unassisted.
17:30 -- So the Sharks haven't scored in their last 10 power play chances. The shots are even at 11 each for the period. Detroit has the edge, 43-24.
15:14 -- Sharks now 0-for-4 in PP.
13:14 -- Justin Abdelkader, who leads the Wings in PIM during the playoffs (20), goes to the box for holding. Fourth PP chance for the Sharks.
12:32 -- Sharks turn the puck over in the neutral zone. Datsyuk flips a backhand to Filppula in the left slot and Filppula gets the goal on the redirect, his second of the playoffs. Detroit 2, San Jose 1.
CHANGE: Zetterberg gets the goal, his second of the playoffs. Filppula and Kronwall get the helpers.
10:38 -- New game...It's 1-1...Val Filppula drives down the right wing, gives a pass to Niklas Kronwall and his wrister goes by Niemi. Kronwall gets his third goal of the playoffs. That's six points in 10 games for Kronwall. San Jose 1, Detroit 1.
MORE COUTURE: He's got 12 shots in his last three games.
8:45 -- Wow wee!! Zetterberg had an open net on the left slot, but Demers got his stick on it!
ADD COUTURE: He has a goal in each of the last three games.
6:07 -- Couture got his stick on the puck for the goal. It wasn't a pretty shot. He just smacked the loose puck with his blade. He's been solid for the Sharks tonight. He leads all players with three shots.
3:54 -- SHARKS GOAL!!! Couture bats the puck in front of the net after a shot from the point and it just trickled through Howard's legs. Couture gets his fifth goal. It was Heatley's shot from the point that started everything. San Jose 1, Detroit 0.
1:10 -- Penalty over.
QUICK NOTE: Detroit starts the period on the power play.
SYNOPSIS: Niemi was named the Sharks Foundation "Sharks Player of the Year" for his performance this season. He earned that and he's earning his proverbial stripes today. After two periods, he's faced 32 shots. The Wings have also 10 shots blocked and 13 misses. That's 53 chances. Meanwhile, the Sharks have 13 shots, eight blocked and eight misses. That's 29 chances. Faceoffs are close (55 percent for SJ, 45 percent for Detroit). Ditto for hits (25 for Detroit, 23 for San Jose). As we begin the third period, you get the feeling we've got yet another one-goal game.
20:00 -- Wings close the period with two big chances in front of the net. Again, credit Niemi for holding strong. Still no score.
19:11 -- Murray tripped up Bertuzzi to the side of the San Jose net. He goes to the box.
18:45 -- Still no score. Detroit is putting on a lot of pressure on the Sharks. They now have the edge in shots for the period, 13-7. Give a lot of credit to Niemi, who's holding on strong in the net.
13:32 -- Power play is over. Jason Demers
gets a slapper from the right point but that Jimmy Howard guy made the glove save.
11:32 -- Now Detroit goes to the box. Tomas Holmstrom goes for interference.
10:39 -- Oh boy....Sharks go to the box. Marleau gives an elbow to Modano's back. Marleau gets called for boarding.
10:31 -- Still no score.
9:16 -- Datsyuk is back on the bench. His double minor is over.
8:25 -- Still no score. Unlike the first period, the shots are even at 5-5. Each team is 0-for-2 on the power play. Total shots: 24 for Detroit, San Jose 11.
6:44 -- Cleary comes out of the box on a breakaway, but he hits the pipe!! Cleary was serving the additional minor on Datsyuk.
5:29 -- Boyle gets a shot from the right point, but Howard makes the save. San Jose has shown good puck possession on this power play.
4:35 -- Datsyuk (holding/roughing) is going to the box, ditto for Mitchell (rough). In fact, they traded blows after the whistle. So the Sharks are on the power play for the second time.
3:25 -- Drew Miller just missed an open net for Detroit. That was close.
SYNOPSIS: Niemi has been solid -- he stopped all 18 shots he faced. Cleary, who got slammed into the boards by Murray in the period, leads the Wings with three shots. San Jose has six, two by Couture. Other than the shots on goal, everything is pretty close.
0:00 -- Done with the first 20 minutes. No score.
3:09 -- Even strength for both sides.
3:27 -- As Detroit is on the power play, Niemi has made two good saves on long-distance slap shots.
5:09 -- So much for the power play. Setoguchi goes to the box for a hook.
5:41 -- San Jose goes on the power play. Looks like Niklas Kronwall is going to go for holding. Remember that San Jose is scoreless on the power play over the last two games (0-for-6).
8:47 -- Jason Demers
(elbow) and Jiri Hudler (holding) go to the box. 4x4 hockey.
9:18 -- Ferriero drives on a breakaway, but Howard does the butterfly for the save. That's shot No. 3.
9:55 -- The goaltender is playing a big role for the Sharks. Niemi has faced 11 shots and saved them all. San Jose has two shots!
QUICK NOTE: The fourth line is McGinn, Nichol and Eager.
13:01 -- The Joe is quite loud right now. Red Wings have five shots to one for San Jose.
14:01 -- Penalty over, but DRW got a few good chances. Boyle came out of the box and had a breakaway but couldn't get a shot off.
16:01 -- Just moments ago, Murray tossed Cleary into the boards. Cleary went head first and came off slowly. Dan Boyle
goes to the penalty box for holding.
QUICK NOTES: No surpirses in goal. Niemi and Howard are in their respective nets. Scanning the bench, Ferriero is in uniform. Looks like Mitchell is on a line with Heatley and Marleau...It's Pavelski, Wellwood and Ferriero...BTW: Draper isn't dressed for DRW....It's also Couture, Setoguchi and Thornton.
Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Game 6 Live Blog as the San Jose Sharks face the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals.
So much drama. So much to talk about.
Things to look for tonight:
TIME TO CLINCH: San Jose has its second chance to clinch the opportunity to play Vancouver in the Western Conference Final, which begins Sunday in British Columbia.
TWO-GAME LOSING STREAK: San Jose hadn’t lost two straight in this year’s playoffs…until Sunday’s 4-3 defeat at HP Pavilion.
GAME SIX HISTORY: San Jose is 4-13 in Game 6s, 3-9 away from HP Pavilion.
WHEN THE OTHER GUYS ARE FACING ELIMINATION: The opponent is 13-12 when facing elimination by San Jose. In rubout games this year, San Jose is 1-2 (1-1 in the quarterfinals vs. Los Angeles and 0-1 vs. Detroit).
ONE IS THE LONELY NUMBER: All five games of this series have been decided by one goal. Nine of the last 10 postseason meetings between Detroit and San Jose have been one-goal games.
NO CLOWIE: Everyone knows left wing Ryane Clowe
won’t be in Detroit tonight with an upper body injury. Who will fill in? Benn Ferriero
, who scored the overtime winner in Game 1? Will there be shift in personnel amongst the top two lines? It’s all speculation and we’ll gladly let you figure it out.
NO MULE: Johan Franzen won’t be dressing for the DRW tonight (lower body). So Coach Mike Babcock will be using the pride of Livonia, Mich. – Mike Modano. Entering the 2010-11 regular season, Modano had 24 goals and 48 assists for 72 points against the Sharks. Yeah, he’s one of the top opponent performers against the Sharks over the years. Modano has played just once in this year’s postseason tournament as an injury replacement during the quarterfinals vs. Phoenix.
POWER IN THE POWER PLAY: In the first three games of the series, San Jose scored four power play goals in 15 tries. This came against the team that was ranked No. 16 during the playoffs on the penalty kill. Over the last two, San Jose hasn’t scored in six tries.
PUT THOSE PUCKS ON THE NET: San Jose needs to create scoring chances. They had 42 shots, 17 blocked and 14 missed. That’s 73 chances, folks! When they were in Detroit last Friday for Game 4, they had 42 (28 shots, seven blocked and seven missed). Babcock sang the praises of goaltender Jimmy Howard on Sunday. But he can’t keep relying on him for the rest of the series.
REFEREES: Paul Devorski and Dan O’Rourke
LINESMEN: Scott Driscoll and Brad Kovachik