The Detroit Red Wings continued their quest to make NHL history, scoring three third period goals to force a decisive Game 7 in San Jose.
San Jose’s Logan Couture broke a scoreless tie a little under four minutes into the third period, trickling a rebound off Dany Heatley’s shot through Jimmy Howard's legs and just across the goal line. But there was no denying the Red Wings on this night, who trailed the series 3-0 at one point.
Henrik Zetterberg tipped in Niklas Kronwall’s blast from the point at the 10:38 mark of the third period to finally beat Antti Niemi, who had stopped 32 shots through the first two periods. Less than two minutes later, Valtteri Filppula gave the Red Wings the lead for good.
Darren Helm added an empty netter with 1:05 to play, sealing a date in San Jose on Thursday for Game 7. Detroit had only forced a Game 7 after losing the first three games once in its storied history. They will try to become the fourth team to win a series after trailing 3-0, joining the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers.
The Red Wings controlled the play for the majority of the game, out shooting San Jose 32-13 after two periods but had nothing to show for it. Detroit had a golden opportunity in the second period to take the game’s first lead, but Danny Cleary bounced a shot off the post on a breakaway.
Niemi did his part as well to keep the Wings off the board throughout the game, including a wild flurry of saves at the end of the second period during a Red Wings power play. Niemi finished with 42 saves.
The pressure now shifts solely on the shoulders of San Jose, who have long list of playoff failures.