SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- This was a signature game for the new
NHL -- a wide-open, high-scoring contest that had fans jumping in
and out of their seats all game long.
But even some of the winning players had to wonder whether the
tight calls and numerous power plays leads to hockey being played
at its best.
Brendan Shanahan scored the tying and winning goals in a
70-second span late in the third period and Mathieu Schneider
scored three goals to help the Detroit Red Wings hand the San Jose
Sharks their ninth straight loss, 7-6 Saturday night.
"That was nuts. That's the only way to describe it," Schneider
said. "I haven't seen one like that in years and years. Talk about
the new NHL, that was it tonight."
Robert Lang added five assists for the Red Wings, who had lost
five of six.
The game featured a slew of penalties that had both teams
frustrated. There were five power-play goals and there were more
than 24 minutes of power plays, including four two-man advantages.
That helped create lots of open space, good scoring chances and
the 13 goals. Winning goalie Chris Osgood said "that's not
"It's not right because it's taking a lot of guys out of the
game," said Osgood, who had 27 saves. "There was not a lot of
five on five. It was just power plays. If they want 7-6 games
that's what's going to happen."
The Sharks' skid is their longest since losing 13 in a row late
in the 1992-93 season, when they still played at the Cow Palace.
San Jose also had a 17-game losing streak, another 13-gamer and a
nine-game skid that season as they set an NHL record with 71
"It's frustrating. We had the game right there and we let it
get away," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "They had 30 shots and
managed to score seven times. We shouldn't have lost the game 7-6.
I have nothing more to say."
It appeared as if the streak would end when Marcel Goc scored on
a two-man advantage to give San Jose a 6-5 lead with 7:11 to play.
But Shanahan then took over. With Kyle McLaren off for a delay
of game penalty, he beat Evgeni Nabokov to tie it with 4:10 to
play. Then just about a minute later, Nabokov saved a shot by
Henrik Zetterberg, but Shanahan was alone in front of the net to
score on the rebound to make it 7-6 with 3 minutes left.
"We attacked tonight," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We
talked about it this afternoon about how we were going to attack
that net and that's what we did. ... We made great passes and we
got a great goal for the game-winner."
There were five goals in a span of 5:10 -- two in 38 seconds by
Schneider -- in the second period with the Sharks taking a 2-1 lead,
the Red Wings scoring the tying and go-ahead goals, San Jose
re-tying the game and then Detroit taking the lead again.
Marco Strum got the scoring spree started in the second period
for San Jose when he took a poor clearing attempt by Andreas Lilja
and shot it past Osgood to make it 2-1.
Schneider answered less than 2 minutes later with a lucky shot
on the power play. His shot from the point deflected off Mark
Smith's stick and then Tom Preissing's body and beat a surprised
Nabokov to tie it.
Less than a minute later, Schneider took a pass from Lang in
transition and scored from the slot to make it 3-2.
After Smith tied it with a rebound goal, Mikael Samuelsson's
blast from the circle at the 11:10 mark gave Detroit the lead.
"It's frustrating to score six goals and still lose but it
showed some character on our part," Goc said. "We gave them a
couple of easy goals."
Detroit scored on its first shot of the game on a pretty
give-and-go between Jason Williams and Lang. Williams left the puck
for Lang, who returned it on a blind behind-the-back pass to set up
Williams' goal just 2:14 into the game.
San Jose tied it midway through the period when Alyn McCauley
scored a rebound goal on a power play. The Sharks, ranked 27th in
the league by scoring on only 11.9 percent of their power play
chances at home coming into the game, went 2-for-8.
Detroit placed G Manny Legace on injured reserve a night
after he sprained his left knee. G Jimmy Howard was recalled from
Grand Rapids of the AHL to take his place. Howard might start
Monday at Los Angeles. ... San Jose's Patrick Marleau assisted on
Wayne Primeau's goal to tie Jeff Friesen for second in team history
with 350 points. ... The Red Wings are 4-2 on the back end of
back-to-back games this season.