DETROIT – Logan Couture and Partick Marleau scored in regulation, and both added goals in the shootout, as the Sharks beat the Red Wings on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, 3-2.
Tied at 1-1 after two periods, the teams traded power play goals early in the third.
Detroit took its first lead when Henrik Zetterberg found a loose puck in the corner and fed Jakub Kindl in the slot at 2:29. Zetterberg drew a holding penalty on Brent Burns, leading to the goal.
The Sharks finally broke through on the power play on their fourth attempt of the night. Brendan Smith was whistled for holding, and after Joe Thornton got the puck on net, Couture skillfully controlled it on his backhand and went top shelf over Jimmy Howard at the four-minute mark for his 16th.
Raffi Torres, looking for first goal since a trade with Phoenix, nearly gave the Sharks the lead in the third period but fired wide on a breakaway with 10:05 to go in regulation.
Detroit had the better of the chances in overtime, but Pavel Datsyuk missed an open net on a one-timer, and Antti Niemi gloved a blast from the top of the circle by Niklas Kronwall.
Marleau's shootout goal ended the game after Couture and Datsyuk scored earlier in the tiebreaker. Niemi made impressive saves on tries from Damien Brunner and Gustav Nyquist.
San Jose ended a modest two-game losing streak and is 1-1-0 on its four-game road trip. The Red Wings, fighting for a playoff spot, are 2-4-1 in their last seven.
The Sharks took the lead early after Tommy Wingels was sent off on a questionable boarding minor. Zetterberg turned it over in the offensive zone to Joe Pavelski, who raced the other way with Marleau to his left. Pavelski fed Marleau with a perfect pass to his tape and Marleau whizzed it by Howard at 2:35 for San Jose’s third shorthanded goal of the season.
Detroit looked out of sorts in the first period, and the Sharks had several chances to increase their lead. Andrew Desjardins was allowed to walk to the slot midway through the period and Howard got just enough of Desjardins’ wrist shot midway through the period. Marc-Edouard Vlasic rang one off of the post after Thornton found him skating on net from the point, and Couture nearly chipped in a rebound from one knee late in the first, but the puck landed harmlessly on top of the net.
After they were outshot 11-5 over the first 20 minutes, the Red Wings responded with a strong second period, outshooting the Sharks 14-8.
Niemi did everything in his power to preserve the Sharks’ lead, making a fabulous glove save on Cory Emmerton with 12 minutes to go while falling backwards into the net in one of his best saves of the season.
He denied Justin Abdelkader in front of the net with a quick pad, but couldn’t stop Abdelkader’s attempt moments later when the winger was left in front of the net and deposited a pass through Niemi’s five-hole at 9:51.
The Sharks’ power play failed on a couple attempts later in the second. The closest they got to taking the lead back came when Marleau broke in alone, but Howard alertly poked it away from Marleau with three minutes left in the middle frame.
The Sharks and Red Wings concluded their three-game season series after splitting the first two at HP Pavilion.
Couture’s goal was just the Sharks’ sixth power play goal on the road in the last 18 games (6-for-70). Thornton’s 17 assists on the power play leads the NHL.
The Sharks were shorthanded four times in a single game for the first time since March 23, a span of 10 games.
Both teams were 1-for-4 with a man advantage.
Niemi made his 18th straight start, and made 27 saves.
Howard, who is reportedly close to signing a six-year contract extension with the Red Wings, stopped 28 of 30 Sharks shots.
Scott Gomez returned after a one-game absence in place of James Sheppard.
Defenseman Brad Stuart, who played five seasons with the Red Wings, played in his first game back in Detroit since an offseason trade sent him to San Jose. He received a warm round of applause when he was introduced before the game.
The Sharks continue their four-game trip in Dallas on Saturday, and wrap it up in Phoenix on Monday. Los Angeles visits HP Pavilion on Tuesday, April 16.
The Sharks have four home games and four road games left on their schedule.