The Red Wings blew a 3-0 lead but they kept their season alive
Darren Helm’s goal with 1:27 left in the third period broke a tie and gave Detroit a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 4 of the second round Stanley Cup Playoff series on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Game 5 is Sunday at 8 p.m., at San Jose’s HP Pavilion.
With Detroit pressuring in the San Jose zone, Helm put a shot under the crossbar from the slot with Sharks’ goalie Niemi down and out of the play.
“Our season on the line. We made a good push there the last four or five minutes and it paid off,” Helm said. “Patty (Patrick Eaves) made a good play to me and it was nice to see an open cage and I just put it in there.”
Niemi lost sight of the puck.
“I didn’t see the puck for a while,” he said. “When I saw the puck, it was on the other side and they had an empty net.”
Nicklas Lidstrom scored twice for his ninth career two-goal playoff game and Todd Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg and Danny Cleary each had two assists and Jimmy Howard made 25 saves.
“We wanted to score. We didn’t want to get this to overtime (where the Sharks are 5-0 in the playoffs),” Lidstrom said. “We wanted to get one before the 60 minutes were up.”
It was already in OT as far as Helm was concerned.
“For us it was an overtime game, a game we obviously had to win,” he said. “The last five minutes, whoever scores next wins the game. We were fighting for our lives there. Hopefully we can carry that momentum.”
Logan Couture had a goal and an assist and Dan Boyle and Dany Heatley also scored for San Jose. Ryane Clowe had three assists and Niemi stopped 36 shots.
“We were ready for it. We didn’t answer the bell as well as we could’ve,” the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski said. “… We got back into it. They scored at the end.”
Heatley tied it at 3, just 1:14 into the third period. He was left wide open in the slot and beat Howard as Heatley was falling to the ice.
Boyle’s goal with 6:16 left in the second period pulled the Sharks to within 3-2. He put a wrist shot over Howard from the bottom of the right circle.
“We made some key mistakes in our zone they capitalized on.,” Lidstrom said. “We have to tighten down more.”
Bertuzzi opened the scoring 6:22 into the game when he scored on a backhand shot from the right circle after executing a spin-a-rama move.
“I just got a good pass up by Bear (Cleary), then just tried to take it to the inside,” Bertuzzi said. “Got him moving the right way and got around him, tried to get a good, hard shot on net. It was nice to see it go in.”
Lidstrom’s first goal, with 8:51 left in the first period, made it 2-0. He put in a one-time slap shot from the top of the left circle off of Cleary’s long rebound. Lidstrom scored a power-play goal with 8:59 left on a unique shot. Henrik Zetterberg’s pass to Lidstrom, who was in the high slot, was bouncing after
Lidstrom first made contact with it and the veteran defenseman swatted it baseball style about a foot off the ice. It bounced off the ice and past Niemi.
Couture put San Jose on the board just 17 seconds later when he tipped in Clowe’s shot.
San Jose’s Devin Setoguchi checked Bertuzzi into the boards and into one of the linesmen in the game’s first three minutes. The pair went face-to-face at the end of that shift and continued the conversation by yelling at each other from their respective benches.
“I just thought it was a pretty noticeable slew foot and should have been called but that stuff happens,” Bertuzzi said. “Just glad we won and get off to San Jose.”
… Clowe and Justin Abdelkader tangled off a face-off and along the boards just as the game ended.
“Just a little scrum. I wish it was Kronwall lined up against me. Oh well,” Clowe said.