Red Wings win Game 4 late, stay alive vs. Sharks

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Red Wings win Game 4 late, stay alive vs. Sharks

May 6, 2011

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DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Red Wings figured out a way to be on the winning side of a one-goal game against the San Jose Sharks.For Detroit, it was about time.Darren Helm scored with 1:27 left, lifting the Red Wings to an elimination-avoiding 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series on Friday night."For us it was an overtime game, a game we obviously had to win," Helm said.The Sharks won the first three games of the second-round rematch by a goal after beating the Red Wings by one goal for a fourth time in Game 5 last year."It's a great feeling just finishing on top and finally getting a win," said captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who scored twice in the first period to give Detroit a three-goal lead that slipped away.The Sharks will take their 3-1 series lead back to San Jose with a chance to advance on Sunday night to the NHL's final four.
RATTO: Sharks can't capitalize on comeback
"We have an opportunity to win at home," coach Todd McLellan said. "We're going to learn from this one and we're going to be better."Detroit is trying to become the fourth NHL team to win a series after trailing 3-0."We think we have an opportunity," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.The Red Wings had a chance to win Game 4 big as they did last year, but couldn't put away San Jose.Logan Couture had a goal 15 seconds after Lidstrom's second, Dan Boyle scored midway through the middle period to pull San Jose within 3-2, and Dany Heatley tied it early in the third."I like the fact that we were resilient when we weren't playing real well," McLellan said. "We found a way to claw our way back into it."Helm put Detroit back ahead for good, scoring from the left circle off a cross-ice pass from Patrick Eaves, who got the puck off a long rebound following Brian Rafalski's shot."When I saw the puck, it was on the other side," said San Jose's Antti Niemi, who stopped 26 shots.Jimmy Howard made 25 saves for the win.The tightly contested series has mirrored last year's matchup between the highly talented, puck-possession teams. San Jose won the first three games by a goal each time, but again failed to complete the sweep.Todd Bertuzzi scored first this time 6:22 in, just as he did last year in Game 4, when he gave Detroit a 1-0 lead at 5:40.The Red Wings went on to win that game 7-1 before getting eliminated in Game 5.Detroit appeared to be on the way to another blowout win after Lidstrom scored twice in the first period to make it 3-0."We didn't answer the bell as well as we could've," San Jose forward Joe Pavelski said.The Sharks, though, refused to get routed.Couture quieted Joe Louis Arena at 18:16 of the first, and Boyle silenced the fired-up fans when he made it 2-1 at 13:44 of the second.The Sharks had their first power play 4:12 into the third, shortly after tying the game, but didn't take advantage. San Jose had another power play with 8:25 left and failed to score."It was getting hairy near the end," Bertuzzi said.Bertuzzi started the scoring with a spectacular play, making a 360-degree spin with the puck and beating Niemi with a backhander from the right circle.From the other circle, Lidstrom's slap shot off a long rebound made it 2-0 midway through the first period. The defenseman got control of a pass with his left skate, whacked the puck out of the air, and bounced it past Niemi."You guys were talking about retirement," Babcock said when asked about the 41-year-old Lidstrom's performance. "I think he answered that pretty good."The cheers turned to groans seconds later when Helm had a giveaway, and Howard gave up what seemed like a soft goal to Couture. Howard went low and Boyle shot high after a cross-ice pass caught back-checking forward Jiri Hudler out of position to make it 3-2 midway through the second period.The Red Wings were scrambling to keep up with San Jose on the tying goal, too, leaving Heatley alone in front for a shot that Howard couldn't stop.In front of a standing crowd, Detroit made the big play in the heart-pounding final minutes to avoid elimination."It was a huge adrenaline rush," Howard said. "Our fans were going crazy the last 10 minutes of the game. That really helped energize us."NOTES: The 2010 Flyers, 1942 Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders are the only NHL teams to overcome 3-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven series. ... Lidstrom's first goal gave him 181 career playoff points, breaking a second-place tie with Ray Bourque for scoring by a defenseman, and broke an 11th-place tie overall with Jaromir Jagr. ... LW Ryane Clowe assisted on each of San Jose's goals, giving him 12 points to rank among scoring leaders this postseason.

Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

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Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele was questionable to play Thursday night’s game at Kansas City with a knee sprain.

His knee is doing just fine, thank you.

Even still, Osemele wasn’t ready to play. He was a late scratch due to an illness, which sapped him to the point he couldn’t go.

Osemele was listed about the Raiders inactives, announced shortly before kickoff.

That creates a huge void in the offensive line – the Raiders run best between Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn – that will be filled by rookie Vadal Alexander.

Alexander is an aggressive player and a good run blocker, but he isn’t on Osemele’s level. Not having the high-priced player could hinder the Raiders offensive line, which must remain strong for the attack to operate well. The Raiders have allowed a league-low 13 sacks this season. 

Defensive tackle Darius Latham was questionable with an ankle injury, but wasn’t quite ready to play this game. This marks his second contest missed with injury.

Strong safety Karl Joseph was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury. Cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook and Stacy McGee are also inactive.

Top pick Meier 'real close' to making Sharks debut

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Top pick Meier 'real close' to making Sharks debut

SAN JOSE – Struggling to score goals lately with two or fewer in eight of their last 11 games, the Sharks may soon turn to their biggest prospect to try and give the offense a boost.

Timo Meier, the ninth overall pick from the 2015 draft, is tearing up the American Hockey League lately with the Barracuda. He scored four goals (and registered 15 shots) in two games in San Antonio over the weekend, has eight points (5g, 3a) in his last four games, and leads the Barracuda with eight goals.

On Thursday, Pete DeBoer was asked what he’s heard about Meier lately and how close he may be.

“Good things, and real close,” DeBoer said. “I think he would have been even a consideration [Wednesday], but he came down I think with the flu. 

“You feel for him because we’re looking to bring some guys in, and he obviously had a great weekend. He’s one of quite a few guys down there that we feel real comfortable can come in here and are going to help us before the year ends, for sure.”

It’s the second time an illness has affected Meier’s status, as he came down with mononucleosis early in training camp and missed a month of action. He did, however, return to Barracuda practice this week.

One month ago, Barracuda coach Roy Sommer told CSN that Meier had to make some adjustments coming out of juniors. 

“He’s just has to simplify his game,” Sommer said on Nov. 9. “I think he’s just trying to do too much. He’s got to be north-south, and [forget] this circling and trying to put pucks through people. … It’s not going to work.”

Apparently, Meier has figured it out. On Tuesday, Sommer told The Gackle Report: “He’s getting better every game. At the start, I was going, oh man, he’s all over the map, circling and not using his teammates. But shoot, now he just keeps producing.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time with him on video and he picks stuff up.”

The 2015 draft has already produced several players that are regular contributors for their respective clubs, led by Connor McDavid (Edmonton), Jack Eichel (Buffalo), Mitch Marner (Toronto) and Zach Werenski (Columbus). 

Meier is the only player among the top 11 picks that year that has yet to play an NHL game, while 17 of 30 of the players overall chosen in the first round have played at least one NHL game.