SAN JOSE – Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored a career-high four points Thursday to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 at sold-out HP Pavilion.
Erasing a 1-0 first-period deficit, the Sharks completed the six-game homestand with nine points (four wins and an overtime loss). San Jose is two points behind Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles going into the weekend’s two-game roadtrip. The Sharks play the Stars in Dallas Saturday, then visit the Colorado Avalanche the next night. Chicago, leading the Western Conference, visits the Sharks Wednesday night.
Vlasic doubled his season total of points Thursday, producing one assist in the first period before scoring one goal and assisting on two others in the second period.
San Jose’s Jason Demers was called for two penalties in the first period. He watched from the penalty box as both teams scored once to complete the period with a 1-1 deadlock.
When Demers was called for holding at 16:28 of the first, Detroit took a 1-0 lead on the first shift of the power play. Niklas Kronwall’s hard shot from the middle of the blue line bounded off the back of San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle at the edge of the crease before dropping over the shoulder of goaltender Antti Niemi.
Demers was sent to the box for interference at 19:36. Vlasic cleared the zone a few seconds into the penalty kill. Joe Thornton raced to the endboards to recover the puck, then skated behind the net before finding a trailing Joe Pavelski open for a 15-foot snapshot inside the right post with 11.1 seconds left in the period.
The Sharks recorded three even-strength goals in the decisive second period.
Vlasic centered a 3-on-1 rush toward the Detroit zone after Thornton pulled the puck away from Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg to begin the play. As Nicklas Lidstrom moved back into the zone as the lone Detroit defender, Vlasic slid the puck to Logan Couture on the left wing. When Lidstrom moved toward Couture, the Shark whipped a pass to Thornton on the right wing for the hard shot high over the lunging goaltender Jimmy Howard at the 9:54 mark for the 2-1 San Jose edge.
Vlasic recorded his goal at the 12:48 mark. When Andrew Desjardins’ shot left a rebound at the endboards, Vlasic quickly moved to the puck and hustled around the net to stuff the wrap-around inside the right post.
When Jamie McGinn drilled a low shot that skimmed under Howard’s right pad and just outside the left post, Vlasic pounced on the miss at the endline and found Mitchell open in the low slot for the shot that made it 4-1 at 18:18.
Vlasic was not involved in San Jose’s fifth goal of the game. Andrew Murray collected his first point of the season when he assisted on Brad Winchester’s first goal as a Shark. Winchester’s snapshot went through the legs of back-up goalie Ty Conklin at the 9:52 mark.
Danny Cleary scored a power-play goal for the Red Wings at 13:38 of the third to complete the scoring.