Red Wings
Sharks
3 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Lang, Schneider help Red Wings even semifinal series

May 3, 2007 - 8:10 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Something about having a two-goal lead does not agree with the San Jose Sharks.

Robert Lang tied the game with 29 seconds to go in the third period and defenseman Mathieu Schneider netted the winner during a power play late in overtime as the Detroit Red Wings overcame a two-goal deficit for the second time in the Western Conference semifinals and recorded a 3-2 triumph over the Sharks on Wednesday to even the series at two games apiece.

Tomas Holmstrom also scored and Dominik Hasek made 25 saves for the Red Wings, who host the pivotal Game Five on Saturday.

"It's night and day," Schneider said of Detroit's situation. "That's a huge momentum shift for us when I thought we could easily be going home down 3-1. ... Everyone predicted this series would go six or seven, and without a doubt, it has lived up to all the hype."

"We knew it was going to be a long series," San Jose's Joe Thornton said. "We knew this wasn't going to be quick. Now we've got to go in there and win a game."

After scoring twice in a 24-second span in Game One and holding on for a 2-0 victory, the Sharks have not fared well when leading by a pair of goals. They again stormed to a 2-0 advantage early in Game Two, but Detroit rallied for a 3-2 win, with Pavel Datsyuk netting the winning goal with 84 seconds left in the third period.

"We've just been battling, battling all year," Red Wings center Kris Draper said. "This team has seen some adversity this year and we are able to answer the call. Our two wins (this series), a lot of character."

It was deja vu all over again for San Jose in this one as Jonathan Cheechoo and Marcel Goc scored in just over a 10-minute span bridging the first two periods for a 2-0 bulge.

Once again, the Red Wings battled back as Holmstrom halved the deficit during a power play with 4.5 seconds to go in the period. Returning to the lineup after suffering an eye injury in Game Six of the quarterfinals against Calgary, the Swede whacked the puck past netminder Evgeni Nabokov from the doorstep after Norris Trophy finalist Nicklas Lidstrom's shot from the left point hit a defenseman.

Hasek kept the Red Wings within a goal in the third, making a sliding save on Ryane Clowe from alone in the slot with 9:51 remaining. The stop proved crucial as Detroit got the equalizer in the closing seconds.

After Schneider prevented the Sharks from scoring into an empty net, the Red Wings moved the play up ice and Valtteri Filppula dug the puck out of a crowd along the boards in the neutral zone.

The Finn crossed the blue line and dished to Lang, whose snap shot from the left circle with 29 seconds remaining handcuffed Nabokov, sending the game to overtime.

"Lang found a hole between the glove and Nabokov's body," Hasek said. "It was a smart shot. He's a smart player."

"We need to realize in this game that you need to keep pushing forward and try to be better," Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet said. "We seem to be wanting to sit back and try to cover a lead. That's not the right way to play in this league. ... We knew Detroit was not going to quit, and we still seemed to sit back and let them come at us."

San Jose coach Ron Wilson was unhappy with his team's defensive positioning on the play.

"Some people have to take a good look in the mirror why they were in the positions they were in on the ice," he said. "Cheating on the offensive side of things when the other team has pulled their goalie. If you get on the right side of the puck, nothing bad happens and you don't even have to worry about overtime.

"I need a couple of guys to wake up in this series or it's going to be over. You can't take a week off in the second round of the playoffs."

A pair of bad plays by its defensemen led to San Jose's demise. The first came from Rivet, who gave Detroit a power play when his clearing attempt sailed over the glass with 5:08 remaining in the extra session.

"Just one of those plays," Rivet said. "Obviously, you're trying to get the puck out. I put a little too much on it. A bad play on my part."

With 48 seconds left on the delay-of-game penalty, Scott Hannan controlled the puck behind his own net but fired it up the middle of the ice.

Unfortunately for the Sharks, it went right to Schneider, who unleashed a shot from just above the slot. The puck hit a sliding Patrick Rissmiller, who was attempting a block, changed direction and caromed off the left goalpost, leaving Nabokov helpless and drawing Detroit even in the series.

"I saw (Hannan) was going to be rushed and he had to fire it up the middle," Schneider said. "I tried to position myself as best I could to have a chance to knock it down. Once I did, I saw an open lane and let it go."

"It just went off my stick," Rissmiller said. "I thought I had him. It hit my stick. I don't know what happened after that."

Schneider believed the key to scoring the goal was the puck hitting Rissmiller.

"It got tipped," he said. "Otherwise, I don't think it goes in. It was just over Nabokov's shoulder. The thing had eyes."

"Rissmiller is doing what you have to do," Wilson said. "We didn't clear the puck and it's a desperation move to try to block the shot."

Hannan admitted the play did not go according to plan.

"I tried to get it up and out, and I ended up firing it right to him," he said. "He was right there. I've got to take a look, get that higher. ... I got a lot on it, I just didn't get it high enough."

Detroit outshot San Jose in each period, including margins of 14-4 in the second session and 12-6 in overtime.

The Sharks opened the scoring late in the first period. Thornton, who led the league with 92 assists during the regular season, made a cross-slot pass from the right faceoff circle to Cheechoo, who beat Hasek with a one-timer with 2:08 to go in the session.

It was the third goal of the series for Cheechoo, who failed to record one against Nashville in the conference quarterfinals.

Goc, who scored just five tallies during the regular season and entered Wednesday with only one assist in eight playoff contests, doubled San Jose's advantage just over eight minutes into the middle session.

Rissmiller unleashed a shot from just above the left circle that was tipped away by a defender. The puck went directly to Goc, who shanked a knuckler from the top of the right circle over both a defenseman and Hasek at 8:07 for his second career postseason goal and a familiar 2-0 lead.

"I think Patrick Rissmiller fanned on a shot, and I did the same thing," Goc said. "I don't know how it got in the net. Somehow, it went over everybody and Hasek didn't see it. It came right down behind him."

But for the fourth time in as many games this series, the Sharks were unable to score a third goal, something for which Red Wings coach Mike Babcock credits Hasek.

"Dom shuts the door," he said. "He's going to give us a chance. The other night, if you remember, we were up 1-0 and we had every opportunity to (increase the lead). They wouldn't let us score and they ended up winning the game. That's what goalies and teams do in the playoffs."








  • PLAYOFFS
    ------------------------------------------
    Detroit 0 1 1 1 --3
    San Jose 1 1 0 0 --2
    ------------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, San Jose, Jonathan Cheechoo 3 (Joe
    Thornton, Milan Michalek),17:52. Penalties: H Zetterberg, Det
    (tripping), 3:04; J Franzen, Det (holding), 10:52; J Cheechoo, San
    (tripping), 15:18; C Rivet

    May 3 1:24 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 3
    SAN JOSE 2
    OT: DET - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:04

    May 3 1:21 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 3
    SAN JOSE 2
    OT: DET - (PP) MATHIEU SCHNEIDER 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:04

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 1:21 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 19 roots

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 1:12 AM
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    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 12:56 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 1 1 2
    SAN JOSE 1 1 0 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 3 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK)
    17:52
    2ND PRD: SAN - MARCEL GOC 1 (PAT RISSMILLER) 8:07
    DET - (PP) TOMAS HOLMSTROM 1 (NICKLAS LIDSTROM, MATHIEU
    SCHNEIDER) 19:55
    3RD

    May 3 12:38 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: DET - ROBERT LANG 2 (VALTTERI FILPPULA) 19:26 (WITH EXTRA
    ATTACKER)

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 12:38 AM
  • 65
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    RUWTbot Added 48 roots

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 12:38 AM
  • 17
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 3 12:34 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 1 1
    SAN JOSE 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 3 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK)
    17:52
    2ND PRD: SAN - MARCEL GOC 1 (PAT RISSMILLER) 8:07
    DET - (PP) TOMAS HOLMSTROM 1 (NICKLAS LIDSTROM, MATHIEU
    SCHNEIDER) 19:55
    SHOTS

    May 2 11:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: DET - (PP) TOMAS HOLMSTROM 1 (NICKLAS LIDSTROM, MATHIEU
    SCHNEIDER) 19:55

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 2 11:43 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 0
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - MARCEL GOC 1 (PAT RISSMILLER) 8:07

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 2 11:20 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 0 0
    SAN JOSE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 3 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK)
    17:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DET 11 11
    SAN 9 9
    GOALIES: DET

    May 2 10:47 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 3 (JOE THORNTON, MILAN MICHALEK)
    17:52

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 2 10:44 PM