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44-27-11

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32 SOG
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Red Wings-Sharks Preview

Tuesday, 02.28.2006 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Red Wings-Sharks Preview
Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks

GAME: Detroit Red Wings (39-13-5) at San Jose Sharks (27-21-8).

TIME: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The Olympic break has been extended for some Detroit and San Jose players.

Both the Red Wings and Sharks will be missing key players who starred in Turin for this game when the regular season resumes.

The Red Wings, looking for their seventh straight win, will be without Swedish gold-medal winners Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Holmstrom and Mikael Samuelsson.

Lidstrom's goal 10 seconds into the third period on Sunday lifted the Swedes to a 3-2 win over rival Finaland. Zetterberg and Kronwall also scored for Sweden, which won its first gold medal since the 1994 Lillehammer Games.

All five are expected to be available for Wedndesday night's game against Anaheim.

San Jose will be without goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who helped get Russia into the bronze-medal game where it lost 3-0 to the Czech Republic.

The Red Wings, with a league-leading 83 points, have shown the ability to rally. They fell behind 2-0 before winning 3-2 in Nashville Feb. 9, then overcame another two-goal deficit for a 6-3 victory over Colorado on Feb. 12.

"We didn't get off to a great start tonight," left wing Brandan Shanahan said after the Colorado game. "But from the 10-minute mark of the first period for the rest of the game, we played a pretty strong 50 minutes."

No team can top Detroit's 17-6-3 record when giving up the first goal of the game. In five of those 17 wins, the Red Wings have prevailed after allowing the first two goals.

The Sharks resume play on a three-game winning streak that has moved them within six points of Edmonton for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. The Sharks and Oilers will meet on Friday in Edmonton.

San Jose went into the break with a 5-4 overtime win against the Phoenix Coyotes. Defenseman Tom Preissing one-timed a pass from Joe Thornton between Curtis Joseph's pads 1:54 into overtime.

"It's a credit to our first unit," Preissing said of his game-winner. "We were just kinda out there to sweep it up a bit, and Joe stayed out a little longer and made a really nice play. He does a great job of drawing guys to him and I just happened to be on the receiving end."

Vesa Toskala, who will get the start in place of Nabokov, was signed to a two-year contract extension on Monday. He is looking for his fourth straight win.

STANDINGS: Red Wings - 83 points, 1st place, Central Division. Sharks - 62 points, 4th place, 17 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Zetterberg and Shanahan, 26 goals; Pavel Datsyuk, 45 assists and 66 points; Chris Chelios, 88 PIM. Sharks - Jonathan Cheechoo, 34 goals; Joe Thornton, 60 assists and 81 points; Mark Smith, 73 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 26): Red Wings - Power play: 24.1 percent (77 for 319), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.4 percent (280 for 324), 3rd. Sharks - Power play: 17.5 percent (60 for 342), 19th. Penalty killing: 80.3 percent (224 for 279), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (25-6-2, 5 SO, 1.99 GAA); Chris Osgood (13-5-3, 1, 2.91). Sharks - Nabokov (14-15-6, 1, 2.95); Toskala (8-5-2, 0, 3.12).

SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 26; Red Wings, 7-6. At San Jose, Calif. Shanahan scored the final two goals of the game, both in the last five minutes, for the comeback victory. Six different Sharks scored, including Wayne Primeau, who netted a short-handed tally in his last game before being dealt to Boston.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 19-5-3 on the road; Sharks - 16-7-5 at home.

2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 23 '06SJS 0 at DET 4T. Holmstrom
Feb 28 '06DET 1 at SJS 5J. Cheechoo
Nov 26 '05DET 7 at SJS 6B. Shanahan
Oct 17 '05SJS 2 at DET 3 - OTJ. Fischer
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GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%

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