The San Jose Sharks (28-11-6, 62 points) defeated the Detroit Red Wings (19-15-10, 48 points) by the final score of 4-1 in their first game back at home after a short three-game road trip through the Midwest. This would also be the final game of the season between these two teams now that the Red Wings are in the other conference.
Tonight’s game featured a comeback from both Tyler Kennedy and Tommy Wingels who had both been out of the lineup. They both had an impact on the game as well with Wingels inserted onto the second line while Kennedy looked strong in the bottom six drawing penalties and creating energy in the form of fights.
San Jose would also chase Detroit’s starting goaltender Jimmy Howard from the net after just 40 minutes after a strong second period. In his place would be Petr Mrazek who was only forced to make three saves in the final period.
In that second period the San Jose Sharks scored three times on goals by Andrew Desjardins, Joe Pavelski, and Dan Boyle.
Desjardins’ goal, which ended up being the game-winner, ended up being a great individual effort by him. He started the rush from his own blue-line and put the puck off the boards to himself to get by the initial defender. He then picked the puck off the boards and fired a routine shot from a bad angle at the net that Howard let get by him. That made it 2-1 San Jose.
Pavelski’s goal was brilliant as well after he picked up a rebound with his skate at the side of the net, kicked it to his stick, then with sticks all over him put the puck into the net with Howard still out of position. That goal was his second of the night after he opened the scoring five minutes into the first period on a great feed from his center Joe Thornton.
Finally, Dan Boyle’s goal, which was his eighth of the season and came on the power play, was a result of great puck recovery by the top power play unit. His goal came from the top of the left circle and he just ripped a wrist shot past Howard to make it 4-1.
In the third period the Sharks did a great job of closing things out apart from a few power play chances they game the Red Wings late in the game. Still, they were able to kill them off and in the end take the victory. Things also got a bit chippy at the end and one of the incidents included Dan Cleary throwing an elbow at Scott Hannan who took offense and ended up instigating a fight.
In the end a great victory for the Sharks against the team they were modeled after, and tonight they beat the Red Wings at their own game.
Now, the Sharks have to get ready for a tough Saturday night matchup as the Boston Bruins come to town in what should be another great game against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Pavelski (2 goals)
2. Joe Thornton (2 assists)
3. Antti Niemi (24 saves)