San Jose and Detroit hooked up for the first of four meetings during the campaign Vesa Toskala took his turn in the rotating goalie system against Chris Osgood. He was more than up to the challenge as he held the Wings scoreless until the Sharks has already post five goals in the 5-1 victory.
On the game’s first power play, the Sharks would score the game’s first goal. Christian Ehrhoff played the puck to Matt Carle on the left wing and his wrister was deflected by Milan Michalek for his team leading sixth goal of the season.
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When Team Teal drew a second power play, they scored their second of the game. This time it was again Carle setting up the play as he looked toward the slot and Mark Bell was parked four feet in front of the crease. Bell simply reached out and redirected the puck to the far corner for the 2-0 lead.
With six minutes left in the first, a Brett Lebda four-minute high sticking penalty gave the Sharks a third and fourth power play. With Lebda still warming up his seat, the Sharks struck. Michalek did an unbelievable job of controlling the puck along the side boards to keep possession. When he finally had time, he gave it to Patrick Marleau
, who took two strides in and rifled a shot to the top corner.
The tally made the lead three and sent Osgood to the bench in favor of Joey MacDonald, who did manage to stop the fourth power play.
San Jose killed of a late penalty to Mark Smith and entered the lockerroom to a loud ovation with their 3-0 lead.
To start the second, the Sharks picked up right where the left off, working hard and drawing penalties. Just 13 seconds into the period, Detroit’s Kirk Maltby was whistled for holding Jonathan Cheechoo, sending the Sharks back on the power play.
The Red Wings compounded their mistake as Johan Franzen was whistled for a delay of game penalty just over a minute into Maltby’s penalty, giving the Sharks the 5-on-3 man advantage.
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson sent five forwards to the ice, a tactic he had implemented in the preseason and early in the regular season, but the three Red Wings defenders were able to diffuse the intense pressure by the Sharks.
Seconds after Detroit had killed the first penalty, Mathieu Schneider was also whistled for a delay of game penalty, sending the Sharks on another 5-on-3 advantage. But the Red Wings were again up to the challenge, killing the two-man advantage and returning to even strength.
The Red Wings parade to the penalty box continued when Danny Markov was whistled for hooking, but again it was the Red Wings penalty kill that was up the test, killing off their fourth penalty in the first eight minutes of the second.
With six-and-a-half left in the second, matching minors put the teams four-on-four for two minutes, and Wilson put out his speed duo of Marleau and Michalek and the Captain was nearly sprung on a breakaway, but neither club could take advantage of the open ice.
Despite the mass exodus to the penalty box by the Red Wings, San Jose could not add to their lead, but neither could Detroit make up any ground and the second finished as the first did, 3-0.
Detroit went on the power play 1:29 into the third period on a high sticking call to Curtis Brown. Toskala remained strong in net as the man advantage was killed by the Sharks.
It was Team Teal’s turn to have a power play opportunity and they capitalized quickly with a goal by Jonathan Cheechoo with assists by Joe Thornton
and Christian Ehrhoff.
It was the Sharks fourth power play goal of the game and more was to come.
Another Detroit delay of game penalty gave San Jose an extended five-on-three and Marleau came through with his second of the game. A scramble out front left everyone looking for the puck and Marleau located it and roofed it before MacDonald could scramble back. The fifth power play tally in the contest tied a Sharks franchise mark set last year, ironically against the Red Wings.
Detroit would finally solve Toskala when Jiri Hudler, while on the power play, found himself alone in front and tapped a centering pass just outside Toskala’s reach.
That would be all Detroit could muster as Team Teal finished off the 5-1 victory.
Mikael Samuelson, who briefly played one season with San Jose, did not dress in the contest for Detroit.
The Sharks conclude their three-game home stand on Saturday when they host the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Wild. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The game will be broadcast on FSN Bay Area, KFOX 98.5 FM and SJSHARKS.com.