For the first time since their premature Stanley Cup playoff exit last season, the Sharks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at HP Pavilion. While this game featured two different rosters, the result again went to the Red Wings in a 4-2 victory against Team Teal.
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Although it was the second regular season home game, San Jose began the contest with the opening night festivities that had been scratched due to a power outage Saturday night. A laser show and announcements of the full Sharks roster preceded former Shark player and fan favorite Mike Ricci dropping the ceremonial first puck before the game.
The Sharks put their past behind them and jumped out to an early lead when Mike Grier notched his first goal of the season on the power play at 3:20 of the first. After winning the faceoff in Detroits end, the Sharks shuffled the puck to Marc-Edouard Vlasic
who fired a shot from the point. The 20-year-old's shot sailed wide right and took a hard bounce off the boards to Mike Grier at the circle. Grier one-timed the shot past a diving Chris Osgood and the Sharks were up 1-0.
The Sharks had two more power-play opportunities in the first (Matt Ellis, holding and Niklas Kronwall, hooking), but were unable to convert with the man advantage.
With 23 seconds remaining in the period, Detroit had their first scoring chance of the night when Valtteri Filppula poked a rebound past Evgeni Nabokov. The puck slid dangerously close to the goal line, but hit the post before Patrick Rissmiller cleared it off the crease.
The period ended with the Sharks up 1-0.
Detroit tied the game in the second on an unassisted goal by Niklas Kronwall at 4:37. Krnowall got his first goal of the season when he gloved a clearing attempt by San Jose at the blue line and beat Nabokov on a slap shot to his left side.
Less than five minutes later, Detroit capitalized on their first power-play attempt to take a 2-1 lead. Henrik Zetterberg put a snap shot past a screened Nabokov for his sixth goal of the season and his first tally of the night.
The Sharks had their chances in the second, with two shots ringing off the post. Their offensive persistence would finally pay off when Jonathan Cheechoo netted the equalizer at 15:41 of the second. After jumping on a loose puck and nearly scoring on an earlier scoring drive, Matt Carle recieved a feed from Ryane Clowe
and shot it towards the net. Cheechoo tipped the shot past Osgood for his second goal of the season.
While killing a Kyle McLaren interference penalty, the Sharks put themselves in a hole when Christian Ehrhoff was called for cross checking. San Jose was able to kill the 5-on-3 and 1:15 of the 5-on-4 before the end of the period.
However, when the Sharks couldn't convert on their own power play early in the third, Detriot took the lead on a fluky goal by Matt Ellis.
Ellis, who had not scored previously on the season, was tied up near the half-boards. With his back to the net he got off a backhand shot that was redirected and found its way behind Nabokov.
Then a series of penalties put Detroit on an extended 5-on-4 and they used their stars to convert. Zetterberg set up Pavel Datsyuk on the door stop and all the Russian forward had to do was slam the door closed.
San Jose pressured in the final several minutes, but could not close the two-goal gap as Detroit skated off with the 4-2 victory.