NHL Playoffs: Put The "D" Back In Detroit, Red Wings Drop Game Two To Sharks

Adam Biggers@@AdamBiggers81Senior Analyst IIMay 3, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 02:  Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks is defended by Brad Stuart #23 and goalie Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 2, 2010 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings haven't been shorthanded 10 times in a Stanley Cup Playoff game since 1997.

But they found themselves in a strangely unfamiliar predicament Sunday night.

In their 4-3 Game Two loss to San Jose, they were in fact, shorthanded 10 times.

And the Sharks capitalized twice—rather, Joe Pavelski capitalized twice. 

The Sharks' young-gun scored his eighth and ninth goal of the postseason, and is quickly becoming the second round's x-factor, go-to-guy and game changer—get the point?

You can't blame Jimmy Howard this time for the defeat.

He was more than solid between the pipes.

There just wasn't anyone to help him out in the scrums that were in front of the net. Howard made acrobatic save after save, but he was left to defend the goal virtually alone. 

Pavelski's Sharks looked quicker, stronger and better prepared than Mike Babcock's club. The line of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley gave the Wings fits.

Thornton netted his first puck of the playoffs, and the Heatley-Marleau connection afforded opportunities for their teammates three times.

The Red Wing blue-liners were nowhere in sight. It wasn't just Niklas Lidstrom's broken stick that led to Shark goals—it was the lack of intensity on the part of Detroit's defense.

If the Wings want to win Game Three at the Joe (Louis Arena) on Tuesday night, they have to put the "D" back in Detroit.

It's not going to be an easy task to come back from a 2-0 deficit. Especially considering how potent San Jose's top-two lines have proved to be.

Pavel Datsyuk, Brad Stuart and Justin Abdelkader have been arguably Detroit's driving force in the last handful of playoff games.

But they can't do it themselves.

It's time for a wake-up call for the men in the red and white sweaters. Who's going to deliver it?


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