A year ago in the NHL playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings lost three games in the second round at San Jose by one goal en route to being eliminated in five games. This year, the Red Wings suffered their first loss of the 2011 NHL playoffs on Friday night with yet another one-goal loss in San Jose, and this one came in overtime.
Although the Red Wings had been off for more than a week, there wasn't much rust early on. Actually, Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game's first goal midway through the first period. He received a pass from Pavel Datsyuk and came down the middle of the zone for a one-timer that went past Antti Niemi.
In the second period, the Sharks came out firing and bombarded the Red Wings. Detroit looked like they were the team that had been playing on much less rest, as San Jose seemed to be skating circles around them. The total shots for the second period were 18-9 in San Jose's favor, but Jimmy Howard played well and didn't allow any to go into his net, meaning Detroit still led by a goal going into the third period.
The Red Wings had back-to-back penalties called against them midway through the third period. The first was a rather weak one on Patrick Eaves for a slash, and the referee that called it was nowhere near the play. Nevertheless, Eaves went to the box and the Red Wings were unable to kill off the penalty. Joe Pavelski swatted a rebound out of midair and into the net for the game-tying goal. Things remained tied during the final half of the period, as the Red Wings did kill off a boarding penalty on Todd Bertuzzi.
Only 2:43 into the overtime session, Justin Abdelkader was called for a double minor high sticking penalty. That gave the Sharks a four-minute power play, but the Red Wings actually managed to kill it off. Unfortunately, shortly after the power play expired San Jose's Benn Ferriero fired a shot at the net and it redirected off the stick of a Red Wings defenseman. Howard had no shot at it and just like that the Sharks scored and Game 1 of the series was over.
Game 2 of the series will take place on Sunday at 3 p.m. NBC will have the broadcast.