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NHL Playoffs 2011: Red Wings Rally To Keep Season Alive With 4-3 Win

After giving up a goal to Logan Couture 54 seconds into the third period to go down to the Sharks 3-1, the Red Wings' season seemed as good as over. They were getting outworked and as good as Jimmy Howard had been in the first two periods, he was getting repeatedly hung out to dry by his defenseman. To say the least, it looked like the Red Wings' season was going to be ended in San Jose after five games for the second straight year.

After yet another lackluster power play by the Red Wings, they turned up the heat just as they did toward the end of Game 4. Sensing the urgency of the situation, Detroit rattled off two quick goals to tie the game, and with around six minutes left Tomas Holmstrom redirected a Nicklas Lidstrom shot in for the go-ahead goal. Just like Game 4, the Red Wings stepped up their defense and kept San Jose from tying things up and held on for the 4-3 win.

What's amazing about this game is that the Red Wings trailed by two goals two separate times. Devin Setoguchi redirected in San Jose's first goal as the first period was winding down, and Joe Pavelski scored with less than five to go in the second. The 2-0 lead lasted less than one minute, as Niklas Kronwall scored on a great feed from Pavel Datsyuk. The goal halted San Jose's momentum and made this a 2-1 game going into the third.

The lead grew to 3-1 after only 54 seconds of the third on a great play by Couture. Following another unorganized power play where the Red Wings had trouble sustaining pressure, Jonathan Ericsson corralled a loose puck in front of the net and scored to cut the lead in half. Two minutes later, Dan Cleary jammed away at the puck and deflected it into the net off a Sharks player. Just like that the Red Wings went from appearing to be in the last period of their season to having new life.

13:52 into the third period Tomas Holmstrom finally deflected a shot from the point in for a goal. He had not been able to do much in this series at all, but his cold streak came to an end at just the right time. The redirected goal gave the Red Wings a 4-3 lead, and after keeping the Sharks off the board in the final six minutes, there is now a Game 6 scheduled for Tuesday in Detroit.

Finally this sense of history repeating itself has been broken. Rather than lose to the Sharks in five games like in 2010, the Red Wings fought back and have forced a Game 6. There's still a lot of work left to do to make it out of the second round, of course, but the Red Wings are halfway to completing the unthinkable. If they can win on Tuesday, anything can happen in a Game 7. All bets will be off, but first things first the Wings need to pick up another win at home on Tuesday.