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>>caption: WINGS DEFENSE (M) KEEPS
S-JOSE's JOE THORNTON (R) AWAY
FROM GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD (L)<<
@ SAN JOSE, CA:
The Red Wings played well from start
to finish for a well-deserved 4-1 win at
San Jose late night Saturday.
After falling behind early the Wings scored four unanswered goals and received
another top effort from Jimmy Howard in the nets.
Detroit made it 3-1 on their 5-game road trip. San Jose lost for just the second
time in their last 11.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 11:02/1. Off an offensive zone faceoff win S-Jose
scored when Patrick Marleau potted a second rebound to the open left side of
Howard's net. Marleau's 29th goal of the season gave him the NHL lead, moving
past Marion Gaborek of the New York Rangers.
With lots of chances but nothing to show for it in the opening period, Detroit
asserted control with three goals in the middle frame.
A Pavel Datsyuk takeaway way back in his own end, intercepting a bad pass by
SJ's Ryane Clowe, led to Datsyuk's solo rush up right wing. Datsyuk (#11) sent a
wicked wrister from the right circle to the far side past Evgeny Nabakov at 6:37/2
for a 1-1 tie.
The Wings went ahead at 14:53/2 when Doug Janik took a right point shot
through traffic that was downward deflected by Patrick Eaves (#5). Video replay
confirmed Eaves' 50th career goal, supporting the decision by referee Kerry Fraser
that Eaves' stick was below the height of the crossbar when he tipped the puck
Just 1:09 later Detroit struck again on a quick counter-attack. Valtteri Filppula
carried the puck most of the way, then dished off to Dan Cleary on left wing. Given
room to roam by the San Jose defenders, Cleary (#9) took his time, toe dragged,
and wristered from the left circle top shelf at 16:02/2. It was Cleary's second goal
in as many games since returning from a month-long shoulder injury layoff.
The Red Wings made it 4-1 on an unassisted goal by Darren Helm (#8) at 4:34/3.
Another Sharks giveaway let Helm cut in off the left wing and jam in his own rebound.
It was Helm's fifth goal in five games.
San Jose outshot Detroit 32-22 including 13-5 in the 3rd-Per.
In addition to Howard's 31-SV, Detroit's defense and back-checking forwards
blocked 17 shots.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "We thought if we were patient enough we’d
get some turnovers and some opportunities. We scored some timely goals."
R-WINGS Rt-Wing DAN CLEARY: It was a real big win, our biggest of the year...
I thought we had a real good effort...They got a 1-Nothin' lead and we stayed poised
...Now we go to Long Island and see what happens."
R-WINGS CEN DARREN HELM: ""I am just playing a little more of a patient game,
not trying to do too much. When the opportunities are there, I am trying to take
more advantage of it. The puck seems to be going in the net for me. I don't know
if it's extra confidence or just luck...It was a big game against a really good team.
Everybody did their part, whether it was blocking shots or getting the puck out,
scoring some goals."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "We did a real good job of pushing them
to the outside and keeping them away from the rebounds...We know that the points
are so crucial for us right now. Every point is important. That's one of the reasons
we're extra pleased with the way we finished the trip, beating one of the top teams
in our conference."
R-WINGS DEF BRAD STUART: "They got a lot of skilled players, they’re bound to get
a few chances, but we were pretty good in limiting those real quality chances. We were,
for the most part, able to get the rebound and clear it aside. Howie did a good job and
the team did a good job making sure there weren’t many second chances...It's hard to
gain ground. You have to keep winning. This was an important trip for us. We can go
back feeling pretty good about it."
SHARKS H-COACH TODD McLELLAN: "They did a lot of simple things to score four
goals against us. They were disciplined. For some reason our team thought we had
to play fancy and take risks. We haven't learned our lesson."
Howard has a 1.64-GAA in his last 14 games.
Former Boston University FWD John McCarthy made his NHL debut for the Sharks.
McCarthy was San Jose's 7th round draft pick in 2006.
With just 4:20 to play Cleary ran S-Jose's Devin Setoguchi into Howard's left
goalpost. The scrum was on with Cleary absorbing several shots while he protected
his still aching right shoulder. As the two wrestled Cleary was credited with a takedown
only because Setoguchi tripped over the back of the goal cage. Cleary admitted
afterward Setoguchi had a right to be angry due to a late hit.
The western part on their long trip over, Detroit will go completely cross-country
to end the journey Tuesday night at the New York Islanders, but only after a one-night
stopover back home in Detroit.
During the western trip Capt. Nick Lidstrom told Wings GM Ken Holland he won't
make a decision on either retirement or another Detroit contract until after this season
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