|SJS||2||0||0||(null - null)||2|
|DET||1||0||2||(null - null)||3|
DETROIT (AP) -Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg answered the call for the Detroit Red Wings' top players to be at their best.
Datsyuk scored off a rebound with 1:24 left and Zetterberg's goal started a comeback in Detroit's 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday that evened the Western Conference semifinal at a game apiece.
"Zetterberg and Datsyuk won us the game," said Daniel Cleary, who scored the tying, short-handed goal.
Early on, the Sharks were dominant and looked as if they were headed to a 2-0 lead in the series.
Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist in the first 4:17, and San Jose held onto the two-goal lead until Zetterberg scored late in the first period. It took Detroit nearly 13 minutes to get a shot.
The Sharks made a rare mistake early in the third period with a Detroit-like giveaway. Cleary made them pay for it with the short-handed goal that made 2-all.
San Jose had two power plays midway through the final period, but took only one shot on the first opportunity and three on the second.
Detroit's Dominik Hasek made 17 saves, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 shots.
"We had opportunities throughout the game and Hasek made some great saves," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "But I think about the dumb mistakes we made in the third period that you can't make in a playoff game."
Game 3 is Monday night in San Jose.
"Suddenly, we're in a best-of-five series going back to their building," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I think you're going see us really play, and be even tougher to play against."
Joe Louis Arena was quiet when the Sharks jumped ahead early again, but the fans got revved up as Detroit rallied unlike the series opener when it lost 2-0.
The crowd collectively screamed and jumped to its feet when Datsyuk scored.
Zetterberg carried the puck behind the net and got it to Mikael Samuelsson, whose shot from the left circle deflected toward a swooping Datsyuk in front of crease and he beat the sprawled Nabokov.
"We didn't do one thing right in the whole shift," Wilson said. "At the end of the game, you're making sure you don't get scored against in the last minute."
Detroit finished strong after a second straight awful start.
After turning the puck over 27 times in Game 1, the Red Wings had two giveaways right away and Kirk Maltby's led to Jonathan Cheechoo's goal.
Hasek made a lackluster pass from behind the net toward the right circle, leading to Milan Michalek's assist for Thornton.
"On all the goals, we turned the puck over when we didn't have to," Babcock said.
Zetterberg's goal was deflected by San Jose defenseman Kyle McLaren, giving the Red Wings the type goal they scored rarely during recent playoff flops.
"It gave us belief and the momentum," Cleary said.
San Jose's Christian Ehrhoff and Bill Guerin combined for a giveaway that led to the tying goal.
"He was looking to give it to me, but I wasn't expecting it," Guerin said.
Ehroff's weak pass in the Sharks' zone was wasn't handled by Guerin, and Cleary pounced on the puck and wound up for slap shot that found the back of the net 1:23 into the final period.
After the game, Cleary shook his head in disbelief when asked about the external pressure placed on Datsyuk and Zetterberg - young stars leading the Red Wings' new-look franchise.
"They've been great," Cleary said. "Zetterberg missed 19 games going into the playoffs, and people don't realize how tough it is to do that and he's producing. People keep talking about what Datsyuk isn't doing, but he keeps answering all the shots at him with great play."
Notes: Detroit was without F Tomas Holmstrom (eye) and D Brett Lebda (ankle). ... Red Wings D Chris Chelios played in his 236th playoff game, tying Mark Messier on the career list and trailing only Patrick Roy (247). ... Thornton has at least one assist in five straight games. ... The Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers played simultaneously Saturday. ... Detroit had 24 giveaways and San Jose had 12. ... San Jose was 0-for-6 on the power play and Detroit was 0-for-3.
|Jonathan Cheechoo Snap shot - ASST: Kyle McLaren , Joe Thornton|
1 - 0 SJS
|Joe Thornton Snap shot - ASST: Milan Michalek|
2 - 0 SJS
|Henrik Zetterberg Snap shot - ASST: Pavel Datsyuk , Todd Bertuzzi|
2 - 1 SJS
|SHG - Danny Cleary Slapshot - ASST: Kirk Maltby|
2 - 2 Tie
|Pavel Datsyuk Backhand shot - ASST: Mikael Samuelsson , Henrik Zetterberg|
3 - 2 DET
|Kris Draper Holding the stick against Kyle McLaren|
|Patrick Marleau Hooking against Robert Lang|
|Joe Thornton Slashing against Kris Draper|
|Jiri Hudler Boarding against Steve Bernier|
|Todd Bertuzzi Interference against Milan Michalek|
|Kyle McLaren Holding against Valtteri Filppula|
|Kris Draper Holding against Curtis Brown|
|Johan Franzen Interference against Jonathan Cheechoo|
|Todd Bertuzzi Hooking against Scott Hannan|