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Breakdown: Game 2 vs. Sharks

In-depth analysis of Sunday's 2-1 loss to San Jose

Sunday, 05.01.2011 / 6:25 PM / Recap
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Breakdown: Game 2 vs. Sharks

By Bill Roose and Michael Caples | DetroitRedWings.com

Despite another shining performance by goalie Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings -- who swept Phoenix in an opening-round series -- now return home down 0-2 in their Western Conference semifinals series following a 2-1 loss to San Jose Sunday afternoon.

The Wings goalie has been under siege by the Sharks, facing 83 shots in the first two games of this series. Sunday, Howard made 35 saves, but for the second straight game, the problem came on the other end of the ice, where the Wings only managed to get one shot beyond Sharks goalie Antti Niemi.

The Sharks built a 2-0 lead Sunday on goals from Ian White (PPG) and Niclas Wallin. The Wings made it interesting when Henrik Zetterberg scored a power-play goal late in the third. It was Zetterberg's first goal of this postseason.

The series now switches to Detroit's Joe Louis Arena for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 on Friday.


The Wings were trying to battle back from a one-goal deficit as the third period started in Game 2. However, the Sharks struck early in the final frame to give the home team a commanding two-goal lead. Defenseman Niclas Wallin fired a shot that hit goaltender Jimmy Howard in the shoulder, popped up in the air, and rolled into the back of the net. The Wings were able to score with six minutes remaining, but couldn’t overcome the two-goal spread.

7 Hits by Justin Abdelkader, leading both teams.
19 Shots by the Sharks in the second period.
26 Total penalty minutes for the Sharks. Ben Eager had 12.
5 Blocked shots by Niklas Kronwall, tops for both squads.
54 Percent of the face-offs were won by the Sharks in Game 2.


Antti Niemi
SA SV GA TOI SV%
34 33 1 59:52 .970


 Ian White
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 1


Niclas Wallin
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 1


SHARKS
Antti Niemi
SA SV GA TOI SV%
34 33 1 59:52 .970

RED WINGS
Jimmy Howard
SA SV GA TOI SV%
37 35 2 58:57 .945



SHARKS
Dan Boyle - D

22:40 - T0I, EV rating

RED WINGS
 Pavel Datsyuk - C

24:11 - T0I, EV rating


The Wings’ lone goal was a display of talent between the duo nicknamed ‘The Eurotwins’. Pavel Datysuk got the puck along the right-wing boards in the San Jose end, and patiently waited for a teammate to get open. Henrik Zetterberg escaped coverage, caught an impressive tape-to-tape pass from Datsyuk, and snapped a shot past goaltender Antti Niemi to cut the Sharks’ lead in half.


Jimmy Howard played tremendous in goal for the Wings once again. Following up a 44-save performance in Game 1, Howard stopped 35 on Sunday afternoon. The Sharks’ first goal was a power-play blast from defenseman Ian White that got through a thorough crowd in front of the Detroit goal which Howard had no chance of seeing. From that point forward, Howard did a great job of keeping the Wings in the game, especially with 19 saves in the second period.




Pavel Datsyuk set up the Wings’ lone goal, and he had one of the Wings’ strongest performances in Game 2. He led all the Wings – including their defensemen – in ice-time (24:11), and in that time frame, he recorded two shots, three hits, two blocked shots, and nine face-off wins. He was also impressive on the penalty kill, especially after breaking his stick on a shot block and killing the duration of a penalty without one.
 



At around the 6-minute mark of the second period, Todd Bertuzzi gave San Jose star Dany Heatley a hard crunch into the boards in front of the Sharks’ bench. The hit drew the attention of forward Ben Eager, who hit Bertuzzi into the door of the Wings’ bench. The second hit led to a scuffle and matching roughing penalties for Bertuzzi and Eager.



The Red Wings were outshot 19-9 in the second period of Game 2, after recording 12 to San Jose’s 7 in the first period. Despite outshooting the Sharks 13-11 in the final period, the Wings still lost the shots battle 37-34. In Game 1, the Wings were outshot 46-25.
 



“Well I don’t know about getting in your head. When they beat you, they beat you. I think our belief in ourselves and our plan and our execution we have, I don’t question that whatsoever. We came into their building and they were able to win two games. I thought they were better than us last night, I thought the game was more even tonight. ... Now we’re going home, we’ll have our crowd, and we have to do something with it.”

- Mike Babcock on if the Sharks are inside the Wings' heads after two close losses.



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