By Michael Duca
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- After going toe-to-toe with the
defending Stanley Cup champions for 2 1/2 periods, the San Jose
Sharks delivered the knockout blow with a pair of breakaway
goals in the final session.
Milan Michalek and captain Patrick Marleau converted solo rushes
in slightly more than a three-minute span, leading the Sharks to
a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Michalek also set up a pair of tallies and Ryane Clowe collected
a career-high four assists for the Sharks (33-6-5), who own the
best record in the NHL.
Jonathan Cheechoo, All-Star defenseman Dan Boyle and fellow
blue-liner Christian Ehrhoff each netted a goal and set up
another for San Jose, which improved to 21-1-2 at home this
Marian Hossa recorded a goal and two assists while Henrik
Zetterberg and defenseman Brian Rafalski notched a tally and an
assist apiece for the Red Wings (31-8-6), who squandered an
opportunity to take over the top spot in the conference
Trailing, 4-3, the Sharks tied the contest with 65 seconds
remaining in the second period, when Cheechoo poked in the
rebound of Clowe's shot for a power-play goal.
Michalek gave San Jose the lead with 9:42 remaining in the
third. After receiving a pass from Boyle and getting ahead of
Valtteri Filppula and defenseman Brad Stuart for a breakaway,
the Czech put a backhander between the pads of goaltender Chris
Osgood for his 11th tally of the season.
Just 3:06 later, Clowe sprang Marleau on another breakaway, and
he fired a wrist shot over Osgood's glove for a 6-4 advantage.
Rafalski halved the deficit with 1:56 to play, beating netminder
Evgeni Nabokov with a slap shot from above the left faceoff
circle off a drop pass from Zetterberg. But Detroit was unable
to net the equalizer despite pulling Osgood for the final 90
Nabokov turned aside 29 shots.