The San Jose Sharks dismantled the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night, winning easily over their Western Conference rivals.
Click here to watch video highlights from Thursday's game.
San Jose hooked up with conference nemesis Detroit at HP Pavilion with Evgeni Nabokov and Dominik Hasek manning the nets. Both would eventually be chased from their nets in favor of their respective backups.
The Sharks came out firing on their first shift, but just three minutes into the contest, they were behind 1-0. On a three-on-two rush, Detroit left a pass for the trailing Jiri Hudler. The centerman skated in a few strides and wristed one past Nabokov with former Shark Josh Langfeld creating havoc in front.
When Detroit was put on their first power play, they doubled their advantage. Tomas Holmstrom took his traditional place in front of the crease and when Mathieu Schneider launched his shot from the point, the power play specialist tipped the play behind Nabokov.
Momentum was going the Wings way as 11 minutes into the period, they were outshooting San Jose 11-3.
Things turned worse at the 8:40 mark when a turnover in the neutral zone sent Jason Williams in alone. He did not wait long to shoot and when his slap shot rang inside the far post, Detroit was leading 3-0.
Sharks Head Coach Ron Wilson used the opportunity to bring Vesa Toskala out from the bench to try and spark his club.
The tactic seemed to work when San Jose forced their way onto the scoreboard to make it 3-1. A point shot from Josh Gorges took a fortuitous bounce off the butt-end of Hasek’s stick found its way behind the Detroit netminder. San Jose and their crowd were back in the hockey game.
The period finished with Detroit up 3-1, but San Jose did find their groove before the first period ended.
On San Jose’s first power play of the second, they closed the gap by another goal. Strong work battling for loose pucks kept the play in the offensive zone and Joe Pavelski feed Jonathan Cheechoo across the slot. The Moose Factory sniper rifled his shot to the far left corner and the Sharks were within one.
Before the crowd could settle back into their seats, the game was tied. Marcel Goc was performing some amazing stickhandling behind the goal line. Hasek snuffed out the German’s wraparound attempt, but the rebound sat right in front of the crease and Ryane Clowe swooped in and chipped in the tying tally.
Detroit looked to seize back control when they stepped into a five-on-three power play with eight left in the second, but when San Jose killed off the two-man advantage Christian Ehrhoff gave San Jose their first lead of the night.
Joe Thornton, Mike Grier and Patrick Marleau forced control of the puck behind Hasek and Thornton fed Ehrhoff at the point. With Grier blinding Hasek’s view out front, Ehrhoff lasered a shot to the far post for the 4-3 lead.
It moved to 5-3 late in the second when San Jose jumped on the power play. Pavelski found himself out front with the puck and pumped it behind Hasek. The four second period tallies tied the Sharks mark for most goals in a period this season.
San Jose posted their fifth unanswered goal on a third period power play with 13:57 left in regulation. Thornton did a remarkable job fended off two Red Wings defenders along the half boards and fed Marleau down low. The Captain’s shot was rebuffed, but he corralled the rebound and fed Grier in the faceoff circle and his one-timer made the score six-three.
The home team was not done either. Back-to-back Detroit penalties provided San Jose a five-on-three advantage and in 24 seconds, they made it 7-3. This time Thornton waited for Marleau to drop down from the point for the easy tap-in behind Hasek. The six unanswered goals were the most by Team Teal during the 2006-07 campaign. The tally gave Marleau the franchise’s all-time points record with 452, surpassing Owen Nolan.
Marleau would not wait to add to his career point total when a Kirk Maltby highsticking penalty again put Team Teal on the power play. Again Marleau fed a wide-open Grier and again he put the puck behind Hasek. Not that it would make a difference in the outcome, but Detroit Head Coach Mike Babcock inserted Chris Osgood to finish the game between the nets.
The eight unanswered goals tied the Sharks franchise mark. Plus dating back to last season, San Jose has tattooed five power play goals the last three times the Red Wings have entered HP Pavilion.
The unanswered goal record would no longer be tied when San Jose scored their sixth power play goal to make it 9-3. A Doug Murray wrister from the far left faceoff circle was temporarily stopped, but a driving Clowe tapped in the rebound for his second of the night.
Chants of “We want 10” rang throughout HP Pavilion.
With minutes remaining, Detroit scored a meaningless goal making it 9-4. But it was San Jose's night as the Captain Patrick Marleau-led Sharks downed the Wings.