for this game

Hasek, Red Wings close out Sharks

May 8, 2007 - 6:46 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- The Detroit Red Wings look dominant once against thanks to the "Dominator."

Dominik Hasek made 28 saves and Mikael Samuelsson scored a pair of first-period goals to give the Red Wings a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks and a berth in the Western Conference finals.

Detroit won the series four games to two and advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2002, the season they hoisted their 10th Stanley Cup.

"Hasek stood on his head when he had to," Sharks defenseman Kyle McLaren said. "We didn't get any behind him."

The Red Wings will open its series against the second-seeded Anaheim Ducks on Friday night in Detroit.

A six-time Vezina Trophy winner, the 42-year-old Hasek recorded his first shutout of this series and improved to 13-5 in postseason close-out games. Detroit now has won 11 straight games when in position to eliminate an opponent.

"It was exciting to watch Dom play. I thought he was fantastic," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Chelly (Chris Chelios), our whole back end, was great. We competed hard. They threw everything they had at us. We expected that. We thought, if we were patient, they would overpinch, be over-aggressive, and we would get our 2-on-1 opportunities. In the end, that's what happened."

Samuelsson supplied all the offense Hasek and the Red Wings needed, scoring twice in the final 4:34 of the opening period, including a dagger with just eight seconds left in the session.

"We came out with a great start. We believed we could win this game," San Jose's Joe Thornton said. "There was a good feeling in here, but obviously it wasn't enough. They got some timely goals and we just couldn't get anything past Dom. He played great tonight.

"We had some chances, but he's going to steal a game, and he stole this one."

The Sharks had owned the opening period throughout the series, outscoring the Red Wings, 6-2, in the first five games.

It seemed that trend would continue when Detroit managed just one shot on goal during a four-minute power play with Thornton in the penalty box for high sticking.

The Red Wings started to take control after Thornton came out of the box with just over 6 1/2 minutes left and it paid off thanks to Samuelsson.

Johan Franzen flipped a lead pass up ice that deflected off the stick of Sharks defenseman Matt Carle, who had his back to the play as Samuelsson raced up the right wing boards.

Samuelsson beat Carle to the puck, deked San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov to the ice and flicked a backhander into an open net for a 1-0 lead.

"(Franzen) made a great play so I skated," Samuelsson said. "I thought I'd get the pass, and I got it. It bounced my way. A little rocky, but it was in the net."

The Sharks had a superb chance to tie it, only to be denied on a spectacular play by Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom with 2:50 left in the period.

Mike Grier intercepted a pass by Hasek and had a wide-open net on a wrap-around but Lidstrom, a four-time Norris Trophy winner, dove and blocked the shot with his stick.

"I knew that I had to try to get there as quick as I could, because I knew the two D were coming," Grier said. "Lidstrom made a great play. Looking back, maybe I should have taken another step and tried to lift it up. There's not much more I can say about it."

"I just tried to lay my stick in the lane, put my stick at that post," Lidstrom said. "Hopefully, it would deflect off my stick. You never know - I just try to get my stick in there."

Both teams knew it was the momentum-turning play of the game, especially when Samuelsson doubled the lead with just eight seconds left in the session.

"All I can say is, Nicky is not just a great defenseman, a great playmaker, but he also made a great save," Hasek said. "It was a huge difference, it would have been 1-1. After that, we scored a goal. Instead of 1-1, in the next minute we were up 2-0."

With the clock winding down in the period, Samuelsson skated in from the right and wristed a perfectly placed shot over the glove of Nabokov short side with eight seconds to go.

"That makes a (heck) of a difference, to be honest," Samuelsson said of Lidstrom's play. "It would have been a 1-1 game. It's huge, for sure."

The goal was reminiscent of Game Four, when San Jose led, 2-0, but gave up a goal by Tomas Holmstrom scored with five seconds left in the second period.

Detroit went on to win the game on Mathieu Schneider's goal in overtime and tie the series at two games apiece.

"We worked really hard to get a 2-1 lead in the series, and also in Game Four, 2-0 lead in the game," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "And then the way we lost it towards the end, that's where the series went, right out the window."

San Jose applied heavy pressure in the middle session, but could not break through against Hasek.

The Sharks' best chance came when Steve Bernier walked in on goal, but Hasek made a pad save on his initial stop and stuffed the rebound attempt with 8 1/2 minutes left in the period.

Detroit again shut down San Jose's power play, which went 0-for-5 Monday night and came up empty in its final 15 chances with the man advantage in the series.

"I think our penalty killing was great," Hasek said. "If you compare it with the regular season, we gave up four and five goals in this building. We were talking about it so much to be better in the playoffs. ... They scored only two power-play goals in six games."

"It would have been nice if we could have chipped in with the power play," Sharks right wing Jonathan Cheechoo said. "You get a lot of opportunities to score and you let your teammates down."

Nabokov made a sensational save to keep San Jose alive, diving to poke away the puck from Kirk Maltby on a breakaway with 13:20 left in the contest while Detroit was shorthanded.

Nabokov made 20 saves but dropped to 0-4 in elimination games.

Next up for Detroit are the Ducks, who are in the conference finals for the third time in the past four NHL seasons and have been off since eliminating Vancouver in Game Five on May 3.

"I think it's going to be another tough series for us," Lidstrom said. "They play very similar to San Jose. They have some big guys, some big forwards, and they will get the forecheck in on us too whenever they get the chance. It's going to be a tough series."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 0 0 2
    SAN JOSE 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 2 (JOHAN FRANZEN, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    15:26
    DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    19:52
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: DET - 0 OF 4, SAN - 0 OF 4

    May 7 11:24 PM


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

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Detroit 10 5 --15
    San Jose 11 10 --21
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Detroit, Dominik Hasek (21 shots, 21 saves). San Jose,
    Evgeni Nabokov (15 shots, 13 saves). Refere

    May 7 10:38 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    DETROIT 2 2
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 2 (JOHAN FRANZEN, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    15:26
    DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    19:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    D

    May 7 9:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 2
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 3 (PAVEL DATSYUK, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    19:52

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 7 9:49 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL DETROIT 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: DET - MIKAEL SAMUELSSON 2 (JOHAN FRANZEN, CHRIS CHELIOS)
    15:26

    Red Wings vs. SharksMay 7 9:43 PM