Photo credit: @PR_NHL
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 at Little Caesars Arena Sunday. Joe Pavelski scored three unanswered goals, after goals from Tim Heed and Brent Burns. The Red Wings got goals from Darren Helm, Gustav Nyquist and Mike Green. The Sharks’ Aaron Dell made 20 saves for the win while Jonathan Bernier made 32 saves in the loss.
The Sharks passed some milestones in Sunday’s game. Joe Pavelski earned his 350th (and 351st) NHL points, Marc-Edouard Vlasic earned his 300th and Brent Burns passed the 70 point mark in 65 games for the season. Burns became the first defenseman to do that since 1994 when Ray Bourque did it.
After the game, Sharks defenseman Tim Heed described the team’s approach to a fast Detroit team: “Like you said they have a really speedy team and a lot of skills. In the first period they were all over us, then in the second and third I thought we took away their time and space and that’s… after that I think we took over the game.”
Tim Heed gave the Sharks an early lead with a goal at 3:46. Initially it looked like Joe Thornton had tipped Heed’s blue line shot but the puck actually went off of a defenseman’s skate. Assists went to Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Kevin Labanc.
The Red Wings responded with goals at 14:39 and 19:23. Darren Helm tied the game with a shot off of a breakaway, narrowly avoiding Brent Burns’s stick. Assists went to Justin Abdelkader and Mike Green.
Gustav Nyquist gave the Red Wings a lead in the final minute of the period. A backhand pass from Tyler Bertuzzi near the blue line found Dylan Larkin on the goal line. Larkin quickly moved it to the net where several Sharks and Red Wings descended upon it. Aaron Dell wound up down on the left side of the blue paint with Burns on the ice behind him. Burns stopped a couple of shots but Nyquist finally found the puck in the open and put it away. Assists went to Larkin and Bertuzzi.
At the end of the first, the Sharks had just five shots on goal to Detroit’s 15. The Sharks had some zone time but the Red Wings did a good job of limiting shot opportunities and blocking the ones the Sharks attempted.
One minute into the period, the Sharks were on the penalty kill after Brenden Dillon was called for high sticking Dylan Larkin. The Detroit power play lasted just 14 seconds before Dylan Larkin was called for hooking Tomas Hertl.
The Sharks made some adjustments for the second period, including some extra time on the ice for Evander Kane. In the first five minutes, the Sharks had five shots to the Red Wings one. Nevertheless, the Red Wings scored again at the 8 minute mark.
Mike Green found himself very much in the open with all the attention on the other side of the ice, where Justin Abdelkader had the puck in the corner. Abdelkader made a pass through traffic and across the goal mouth to Green. Dell tried to get across but could not get there in time. Assists went to Abdelkader and Anthony Mantha. That was Detroit’s third shot of the period and their last.
The Red Wings held the two goal lead until 13:50 of the second. Logan Couture won an offensive zone faceoff and Timo Meier helped the puck get to Brent Burns at the point. Burns’s shot went right through for his 13th of the season. Assists went to Meier and Couture.
Joe Pavelski tied the game at 15:50 on the power play. The Sharks spent a lot of time moving around the offensive zone before Joe Thornton finally took a shot. Bernier stopped it but the rebound didn’t travel far. Joe Pavelski was right in front of the goaltender and, while falling to his knees, he pushed the puck around the goalie and in. Thornton and Burns got the assists.
Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead at 16:45, deflecting a Vlasic shot while standing eight feet or so outside the slot. Assists went to Vlasic and Hertl.
The Sharks had 16 shots in the second to Detroit’s 3 in the second. In the third, the Red Wings got their first shot near the 14 minute mark, on a power play. The Sharks had 12 by then for the third period.
The only goal of the period came in the final minute, an empty net goal right off the faceoff. Joe Pavelski completed a natural hat trick with an almost casual backhand from the neutral zone. Logan Couture picked up an assist on that goal.
The faceoff was preceded by an off side call on the Red Wings, which followed a strange collision at the bench between players changing and the goalie leaving the ice. Kronwall seemed to get the worst of it, being knocked down. The extra skater in the final minute did little to help.
The Sharks next play on Tuesday in Boston against the Bruins at 4:00 PM PT.