– Defensemen handled the scoring Sunday afternoon as the San
Jose Sharks prevailed over the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 to take a 2-0
Western Conference Semifinals lead.
Behind goals from Ian White and Nicklas Wallin, the San Jose Sharks staved off a late effort from the Detroit Red Wings to earn a key 2-1 victory in their Western Conference semifinal Sunday at HP Pavilion.
The Sharks now lead the series 2-0 over the Red Wings.
The next two games of the best-of-seven series will be in Detroit on Wednesday and Friday. If needed, the teams will play again on Sunday at 5 p.m. in San Jose.
White and Wallin, a defensive pairing, collected San Jose’s goals, taking a 2-0 margin into the final seven minutes of play. The Red Wings countered with a power-play goal at 13:58 of the third, but managed only one shot on net the remainder of the game.
Detroit fashioned a 12-7 edge in shots on net in the first period, yet exited the period down 1-0.
The Red Wings could not take advantage of one four-minute power play and another of two. San Jose was able to convert its first power play with 4:59 gone in the game.
Wing Justin Abdelkader was called for high-sticking Logan Couture at 3:11. Two shifts into the extra-man time, White blasted his first career playoff goal from the top of the slot. Goaltender Jimmy Howard was partially blocked by Couture and two Wings in the slot and was late to the left post as White’s shot flew into the net. Dany Heatley and Ryane Clowe earned assists.
After being limited to few odd-man opportunities by the Red Wings in the opener won by San Jose 2-1 in overtime, the Sharks had many odd-man rushes that Detroit needed to repel.
Wallin registered his fourth-ever playoff goal at 1:39 of the third period. Clowe fed Wallin the puck at the right boards and the defenseman handled the rest, pulling up at the top of the right circle and whipping a shot that fooled Howard. Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall was near Wallin at the time of the shot and provided a partial screen of the shot. Clowe and Couture earned assists.
Detroit finished with 34 shots on net, but could not score off goaltender Antti Niemi until the final 6:02 of play. The Red Wings had a chance for a tying goal 2:38 into the second period when Darren Helm picked the puck off the stick of Jason Demers on a San Jose power play. Helm was rebuffed on the breakaway by Niemi’s strong move to the right post.
The Red Wings made it 2-1 by taking advantage of a Devin Setoguchi penalty for slashing at 13:22 of the third. The visitors needed 36 seconds to score. Henrik Zetterberg slipped into the high slot and turned a Pavel Dasyuk offering into a one-timer inside the left post.
San Jose finished with a 37-34 edge in shots, paced by eight from Dan Boyle.