– Detroit added to its lead in the Western Conference standings
Tuesday night with a 5-3 nod over the San Jose Sharks at sold-out
SAN JOSE – Detroit added to its lead in the Western Conference standings Tuesday night with a 5-3 nod over the San Jose Sharks at sold-out HP Pavilion.
Sitting outside the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings after completing November’s play, the San Jose Sharks begin December’s road-dominated schedule Thursday night in Ottawa.
The Red Wings rushed to a 2-0 lead after 8:01 of action and never trailed to improve to 16-4-2.
San Jose plays 10 of 15 games in December on enemy ice. The Sharks are 4-4-2 in road action this year, 7-4-2 at home.
Henrik Zetterberg accounted for two goals and two assists for the Red Wings, his 121st career multi-point game.
Danny Heatley, Ben Ferriero and Tyane Clowe scored the Sharks goals, each time with San Jose facing either a two or three-goal deficit.
The Red Wings needed 14 seconds of power play in the first period to take a 1-0 lead.
San Jose’s Jamal Mayers went to the penalty box at 4:36 for high-sticking Johan Franzen. After the visitors won the face-off, Valtteri Filppula drilled a cross-ice pass to Zetterberg outside the right circle. Zetterberg found Danny Cleary at the edge of the crease with a pass that Cleary converted into the 1-0 lead at 4:50.
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit’s top scorer entering play with 24 points, split the San Jose defense and beat goalie Antero Niittymaki at 8:01 to make it 2-0.
Heatley recorded his team-high 12th goal of the season at 9:35 of the first during a power play. Joe Thornton earned his team-high 17th assist when he sent a low shot from the right flank toward the net, the puck bounding off Heatley’s left skate and past goalie Jimmy Howard.
Detroit added another 2-1 edge in goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Zetterberg clubbed a shot from the low slot that rang off the right post and then off Niittymaki’s back before settling in the net at 2:58 of the second period.
Ferriero turned a long shot from the blue line by Derek Joslin into his second goal of the season at the 4:52 mark. Setting up in front of Howard, Ferriero, without facing the net, was able to pull the rebound back inside the right post.
Detroit regained the two-goal lead with 11 seconds left in the second when Patrick Eaves deflected a shot from the left boards by Cleary past Niittymaki.
Zetterberg turned a steal of a Mike Moore pass from the San Jose endzone into a goal at 7:55 of the third period. The Sharks responded with a goal at 17:28, Clowe following up Justin Braun’s slapshot from the blueline by jamming the rebound behind Howard.
The Sharks continue a five-game roadtrip Saturday in Montreal, then Detroit on Tuesday, Philadelphia Wednesday and Buffalo Thursday. San Jose’s next home game is Saturday Dec. 11 against Chicago.