The deja vu of last season is strikingly similar for the Detroit Red Wings.
After dispatching the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2010 playoffs, the Red Wings fell into an 0-3 hole to San Jose in the second round, saved from a sweep only by a four-goal outburst from Johan Franzen in Game 4. If the Red Wings plan on playing some more this season, they'll need something similar.
Detroit swept Phoenix out of the playoffs again in 2011, but the Sharks continue to be a problem for the Red Wings. San Jose has had the Wings' number again, winning the first three games in this series--all by one goal, much like last season. The only game San Jose didn't win by a goal last year was the 7-1 shallacking Franzen helped the Wings lay on the Sharks in Game 4. San Jose has won all three games by one goal this year too, including two in overtime.
Despite the loss in Game 3, Detroit looked like the better team for much of time. It was only in the third period when the Red Wings sat on a one goal lead and allowed the Sharks to take control of the play as they tried to tie it did the Sharks finally mount a sustained attack. The Wings knew they needed the win badly and sat back in the prevent defense.
As we all know, the only thing that strategy prevented was a Detroit win.
The Red Wings said they will use the same lineup tonight as they try to start a hopefully historic comeback. That means no Mike Modano, who could have already played his final NHL game.
Pavel Datsyuk--He scored a goal in Game 3 and has a point in every game this series. Unfortunately, not much can be said about his teammates.
Todd Bertuzzi--Bertuzzi hasn't registered a point against the Sharks and is a -1 for the series. He's also taken six minutes in penalties, something Detroit hasn't been able to afford so far.