Sharks can't close it, Red Wings rally for 4-3 win

May 9, 2011, 4:15 am
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SAN JOSE (AP) The Detroit Red Wings are coming home with a chance to take a step toward history.Suddenly, that seems well within reach.Tomas Holmstrombroke a tie with 6:08 remaining, and the Red Wings scored threethird-period goals to avoid elimination with a 4-3 victory over the SanJose Sharks on Sunday night."There's a lot of character on this team. There's not any quit," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves. "Our season was on the line there in the third period, and we found a way."
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Danny Cleary and Jonathan Ericssonalso scored in the final period to send the series back to Detroit forGame 6 on Tuesday night. After winning the first three games, San Joseis clinging to a 3-2 lead.Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchiscored to help the Sharks take a 3-1 lead early in the third period.Then the Red Wings scored two quick goals before Holmstrom redirectedthe winner past Antti Niemi, leaving a sellout crowd stunned and silent.Niklas Kronwell also scored and Pavel Datsyuk added three assists for Detroit."I think you put yourselves in a verydangerous position if you get back on your heels against that team,"Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I didn't think we did that tonight.They just outplayed us in the third period."The Red Wings moved closer to adding to their already storied history.The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers are the only teams towin a series after losing the first three games. With Chicago winningthree straight to force a Game 7 against Vancouver in the openinground, that's enough precedent to give Detroit hope that it can pushSan Jose to the brink.The Red Wings already have overcomea repeat of last season, when they went down 3-0 to the Sharks -- justlike this year -- before being eliminated in Game 5 at San Jose.No encore this time.
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Detroit came back again with astrong push up ice and sent several shots at Niemi after going down twogoals. In a span of 1:46, the Red Wings got a goal from Ericsson andanother from Cleary on a wraparound shot for the equalizer.Then Nicklas Lidstromsent a slap shot from the center that was deflected on net byHolmstrom, redirected top shelf to beat Niemi and shock a towel-wavingcrowd that was ready to toast a berth in the Western Conference finalsfor the second straight season."I didn't know it went in right away," Holmstrom said. "But I saw the ref point at the net and I felt pretty good."Fans had reason to be optimistic: the Sharks had controlled the puck and forced the action from the start.But they failed to convert on twopower plays in the opening period - not even registering a shot on thefirst - and nearly fell behind again if not for a spectacular save fromtheir goalie. Niemi kept the Red Wings from going ahead first, divingto his left to rob a slap shot by Ericsson with a glove save.A few minutes later, Joe Thornton won a faceoff in Detroit's territory and passed it back for a slap shot by Dan Boylefrom just inside the blue line. Boyle's shot was redirected bySetoguchi for his fifth goal of the playoffs to put San Jose up 1-0with 2:42 left in the period.The Red Wings were able to kill offanother power play in the second to give themselves a chance, only tofail to even get a shot off when they had their own man advantage. ThenPavelski made them pay when he took a pass from Ryane Clowe on a 2-on-1 break, flicking the puck past Howard to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.The goal also was Pavelski's fifthof the playoffs, although he didn't have much time to celebrate.Kronwell scored 53 seconds later with a wrist shot that beat Niemi topshelf with 3:35 left in the period.Any momentum the Red Wings had entering the final period seemed to end with a thud.Dany Heatleycame out of a scrum along the side boards and shoved a pass ahead toCouture, who finished on a wide-open breakaway past Howard's left leg54 seconds into the third period to give the Sharks a 3-1 cushion."When we go up 3-1 we usually finishteams off," Thornton said. "They fought back very hard. We made acouple of careless plays and against their skilled players, they putthose in."NOTES: Red Wings F Johan Franzen tweaked his ankle and was limited in the third period. ... The Red Wings inserted left winger Drew Miller into the lineup and scratched Jiri Hudler.... The Sharks are 7-0 when they lead a series 3-1. ... The announcedattendance was a sellout crowd of 17,562. ... The Sharks fell to 5-1when they score first in the playoffs.y

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