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Several changes took place to both lineups, with Johan Franzen out for Detroit and Ryane Clowe out for San Jose.
Head coach Todd McLellan rolled out the new top line of Thornton-Couture-Setoguchi, as Patrick Marleau headed up the new second line of Mitchell-Heatley. Benn Ferriero took Mitchell’s spot on the third line alongside Pavelski and Wellwood.
Just a few minutes into the first period Douglas Murray delivered a huge hit to Cleary alongside the boards, and Cleary headed off the ice shortly thereafter.
San Jose knew Detroit would come out flying, and the Red Wings didn’t disappoint as they stormed the Sharks zone. Just halfway through the first period, the Wings were pouring on the heat with 13 shots opposed to San Jose’s two.
At 9:18 the ever-dangerous third line just barely missed as Benn Ferriero got a breakaway chance, only to be stoned by Howard. With the scoring chance, Ferriero gave the Sharks just their third shot on net in the first period.
San Jose would not be able to capitalize on a Kronwall holding penalty at 5:41, putting the Sharks at 0-8 with the man advantage in their last two games.
The first period ended with Niemi stealing the show for San Jose, stopping all 18 shots in the period and coming up big at the right time.
Early in the second period, the Sharks fourth line again attempted to give the game away, turning the puck over as Drew Miller barely missed the open net.
Just a few minutes later, following the Datsyuk penalty Dan Boyle got caught too deep in the zone, leading to an odd man rush down the ice. Boyle made amends for his mistake, tracking down Helm before he could get a shot off on Niemi.
The Sharks looked much improved in the first half of the second period, but the Red Wings slowly and surely started turning the tables on San Jose.
Halfway through the second period, the Red Wings took the task to the Sharks and pressed play deep in the Sharks zone.
At the end of the second period, the Red Wings had pretty much dominated the Sharks outshooting San Jose 32-13.
The third period started with a clear need for the Sharks to respond, they had been dominated for the better part of 2 periods and looked lifeless.
At 3:54, Logan Couture provided just that with the Sharks in a mid-change, giving them the odd line combination of Mitchell-Couture-Heatley. Batting the puck on the rebound, Couture nets his fifth goal of the postseason on the initial shot from Dany Heatley.
Just a few seconds after a near goal by Pavelski and the Sharks third line, Detroit ties the game on the Zetterberg tip in at 10:38 that found it’s way past Niemi.
The tally gave the Red Wings renewed focus, as they added to the lead just two minutes later at 12:32 on Filppula’s goal.
Darren Helm adds the empty-net goal to pad the Red Wing lead, defeating the Sharks and completing the remarkable comeback from the 0-3 deficit.