NHL 2011 Playoffs: Sharks Win Homestand, Taking 2 Game Lead on Wings

Michael DeSantis@@dtrain2495Senior Analyst IMay 1, 2011

Niemi makes one of his 33 saves of the afternoon
Niemi makes one of his 33 saves of the afternoonEzra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks have given the Red Wings some bad memories of last year's semifinals. With a 2-1 victory at the HP Pavilion to close out the homestand,the Sharks once again take a two game lead to the Joe Louis Arena, home of the Red Wings.

The Sharks began the game by killing off a minor penalty. Not long after the penalty expired, the Sharks got a power play goal from an unlikely source, Ian White. White blasted a pass from Dany Heatley by Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard for the first goal of the game at 4:54 in the first.

There wasn't another goal until early in the third period. At 1:39, another unlikely source, Niclas Wallin, blasted a puck that Howard fumbled, which found the net for a two goal lead for San Jose.

The Red Wings tried to come back when Henrik Zetterburg found the back of the net on a nice feed from Pavel Datsyuk to close the deficit within one.

However, the Wings weren't able to score another one, as Antti Niemi was brilliant, and Detroit ultimately fell 2-1.

Niemi played outstanding, stopping 33 of 34 Red Wings shots, only allowing the lone goal by Zetterburg.

Jimmy Howard was nothing short of excellent as well, holding the Sharks to two goals on 37 shots.

In the series so far, both goalies have looked great, as both games were low-scoring affairs, both at 2-1, one in overtime, the other in regulation. The goalies' performances will be the key to who wins the series, but so far, Niemi has slightly outplayed Howard.

The game was very scrappy, as there were 15 combined penalties between the two teams, 40 minutes total including a ten minute misconduct to the Sharks Ben Eager.

Next game is Wednesday at 5 PM in Detroit. The Sharks will look to grab a three game choke hold, and the Wings will look to close the gap on home ice.

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