In the second stop of their five-game road trip, the San Jose Sharks traveled to Detroit Thursday night to take on the Western Conference leading Detroit Red Wings. Thanks to a stellar performance by Manny Legace and the Red Wings defense, Detroit defeated the Sharks by the final score of 4-0.
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson sent Evgeni Nabokov to the net, while the Red Wings countered with Legace.
The first solid scoring chance of the night went in favor of Detroit when a slapshot off a Red Wing blueliner was saved by Nabokov. The rebound was left out front, however, and Pavel Datsyuk made a quick move to get to the loose puck, shooting it on net. Nabokov was able to stick his leg out at the last second to make the save, keeping the game scoreless.
Eight minutes into the contest, the Sharks went on the power play for the first time when Nicklas Lidstrom was called for hooking Joe Thornton
, but the Sharks could only manage one shot on goal off the stick of Nils Ekman.
With just under three minutes to go in the first, the Red Wings received their first power play of the night after Jonathan Cheechoo was whistled for delay of game after he shot the puck over the glass. But 22 seconds into the power play, the game went to four-on-four after Tomas Holmstrom was penalized for goaltender interference. Both penalties expired, however, and so did the final seconds of the first period, as the game remained scoreless.
When the game resumed in the second period, it took just 1:43 for the Red Wings to find the back of the net. A slapshot from Mathieu Schneider was tipped in front of the net by Tomas Holmstrom, as the Wings took the 1-0 lead.
Midway through the second frame, Detroit continued to hang on to their 1-0 lead. San Jose hadn’t managed a shot on goal in the second up to that point. Joe Thornton
was whistled for hooking ten minutes in and the Sharks found themselves down a man for the second time, but Detroit couldn’t get another one past Nabokov during the two-minute span.
With just over four minutes remaining in the second, San Jose earned a man advantage when Andreas Lilja hooked Milan Michalek.
Christian Ehrhoff nearly lit the lamp early in the advantage when he skated a puck all the way in on Legace, but his wrister missed the net. The rest of the power play expired without the Sharks being able to control the puck in Detroit’s end.
In the last minute of the period, the Sharks received their best scoring chances of the night when Patrick Marleau
wristed a shot on net. Legace made a great save on the shot, but Bernier followed with another chance. Once again Legace turned the shot away as the second period expired and the Sharks headed to the locker room still trailing 1-0.
The Sharks went down 2-0 only one minute into the third period as Detroit’s Jason Williams took a pass from Robert Lang and slipped it past Nabokov.
Less than a minute after the Red Wings expanded their lead, Cheechoo was whistled for tripping. The Red Wings took quick advantage of the power play as Steve Yzerman put the puck in the net with 17:01 left in the third period.
Nine minutes into the third the Sharks would try their luck on their fourth power play of the night after Niklas Kronwall was called for hooking. Cheechoo nearly snuck one past Legace, but the Sharks still couldn’t solve the netminder, as the power play went awry.
The Red Wings increased their lead to four when Mikael Samuelsson snuck a wrister short side past Nabokov.
The Sharks would have a chance to spoil Legace’s shutout when Brendan Shanahan was called for holding with over three minutes left. No such luck, however, as the Red Wings defense remained stingy.
As the final seconds of the game clock expired, the Red Wings skated off with the 4-0 victory.
The Sharks will travel to Minnesota Saturday night to take on the Wild at 5 p.m. The game can be seen on FSN Bay Area and heard on the Sharks Radio Network and sjsharks.com.