Western Conference Semifinals, Game 2 (5/2/10)

Tonight the Red Wings had their chance at revenge after dropping game one to the Sharks. The Wings played well in the last game but the Sharks had three quick goals, most of which were fluky. The Wings have a lot to build on from game one even though they lost. Tonight the goalies were Jimmy Howard and Evgeni Nabokov. Marleau was back in the lineup for the Sharks after recovering from the flu. For the Red Wings, Eaves was out tonight and Jason Williams was in. Eaves was a little bit sore so he got the night off.

This game started out with a lot of pressure from San Jose. Jimmy Howard was stellar in keeping the Sharks off the board. The Red Wings had a few chances of their own but the momentum was mostly going San Jose’s way.

Then, about seven minutes into the game, Datsyuk picked up the puck at his own blue line. He skated through the neutral zone and into the Sharks’ end. He ripped a shot that went over Nabokov’s shoulder and into the net to put the Wings on the board first.

A few minutes later Abdelkader went to the box for slashing. On the power play Pavelski shot one from high in the slot. The puck was tipped somewhere along the way and changed directions a little bit. It got by Howard and tied the game at one.

Just a few seconds after that goal the Sharks scored again. Pavelski set up Clowe this time with a nice centering pass. Clowe received it in the slot, turned around and backhanded it into the net. That put the Sharks up two to one just past the halfway point of the first period.

Not long after that, Rafalski shot one from close to the blue line. Holmstrom was in front of the net screening Nabokov and he tipped the puck into the net to tie the game at two.

Just two minutes into the second period the Wings scored another power play goal. Lidstrom shot from he point and got it through traffic to beat Nabokov and put the Red Wings backup up by a goal. Holmstrom was in front of the net again screening the goaltender again.

The Wings played really hard in the second period and seemed to be generating a lot of momentum. They were still outshot by the Sharks but it’s not surprising since the Red Wings had to kill two penalties.

In the third period the Sharks had a 5 on 3 power play after another phantom call. It was the second one of the night on Bertuzzi alone. During the power there was a big pile up in front of the Wings’ net. Howard was out of the net after making the initial save. Datsyuk was attempting to keep the puck out of the net but it got by him after a shot by Pavelski. That tied the game at three.

Later in the third Lidstrom tried to fire a one-timer but his stick broke and Heatley took off with the puck. He shot it and Howard stopped it but the rebound came right to Thornton in the slot with Howard sprawled on the ice. It was an easy goal for Thornton. That put the Sharks back up by one.

The Wings pulled the goalie at the end of the game but then they took a penalty for too many men on the ice.  They weren’t able to re-tie the game and the Sharks came away with another win.

Believe it or not the Red Wings played a pretty solid road game tonight. The biggest problem was the officiating and I’m not one to normally complain about that. The calls were terrible in both directions. The Red Wings had 10 penalties. I wouldn’t mind that if they actually had 10 infractions but many of the calls should not have been a penalty. The Sharks only had four penalties and at least one of those was completely bogus as well. It seemed like the referees wanted to be the stars of this game. I hate to see bad officiating effect the outcome of a game and that was definitely the case tonight.

The Sharks’ third goal was the direct result of a bad call that went against Bertuzzi and their fourth goal was the direct result of a broken stick for Lidstrom. Hopefully these bad breaks will start to even out in the next game.

This 3-4 loss brings this Western Conference Semifinal series to 0-2 San Jose.

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