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Game recap...2/11

By: Channing Cummins

12 is the amount of shootouts the Red Wings have been in this year, including last nights game. They've only won four of those 12 and that could prove to be crucial as the season begins to dwindle down. On Thursday night the Wings lost their second straight game in the shootout period, leaving them one point away from the final playoff spot.

The Red Wings took on the conference leading San Jose Sharks at the Joe on Thursday night. For the Wings, the effort was there. This game will go down as one they should've won. The Wings were defeated 3-2 and endured their fourth straight loss. For the Wings, the Olympic break couldn't come any sooner.

Early on the Wings showed the hometown crowd that they were out for the W and weren't going to mess around. The team came out with electricity, looking like the desperate team that they currently are. Their goal was to play solid defense, drive the zone and get shots on goal, which they were successful in doing.

On their second power play opportunity, the Red Wings were able to take advantage and grab the early 1-0 lead. Grandma's cookies were found as Johan Franzen buried his shot top shelf, giving him his second goal of the year. This has to get Detroit fans giddy as they hope the Mule will be able to relieve their offensive struggles.

Similar to the rest of the year the Wings wouldn't take long to forfeit their lead. 25 seconds ensuing the Franzen goal, Joe Thornton was able to bring the Sharks back, as he was able to clean up the crease and net an easy goal. That gives Thornton three goals in his last two games against the Wings.

The Wings failed to finish the period on a good note, which resulted in an absolute NO-NO! They would pay for their sin by giving up a goal in the final seconds of the period. 9.7 seconds to be exact. Poor defensive effort allowed a wide open center to put home the easy, go ahead, goal. Credit the goal to Michigan native Dwight Helminen who was able to score his first of the year. Shots: 19-9, Wings.

The second period veered away from the offensive domination a bit. Although there were no goals scored, the period still brought some excitement. A few key saves by both goaltenders, along with a power play opportunity provided the fuel for an animated second period. Shots: 14-8, Wings.

The third period brought the imagined. Effort, grind, discipline and the will to win; all of which were being displayed by both teams. The Red Wings were the team that showed it the most, which helped them knot up the game at a crucial point. Williams gave us a glimpse of his dangling skills and a hint of his stick handling ability just before he beat Nabokov and dipped into the half empty cookie jar. With seven minutes remaining the game was now tied up and put up for grabs.

Now with momentum the Wings were able to sustain pressure on the Sharks. Once again, a few clutch saves from the goaltenders allowed this game to stayed tied on the way into overtime. Shots: 17-7, Wings.

The game would then go into overtime, followed by a shootout and so on....we know the result. Just in case you were wondering, Marleau won the shootout on the Sharks' last attempt. 1-0 was the result. O.T. Shots: 2-2.

Shot total: 52-26, Wings

Player of the game goes to Evgeni Nabokov who put up a career high 50 saves in the Sharks' victory. As for the Wings, they currently sit in the mess of the Western Conference, one spot out of the playoffs. They have a few members right there with them, which makes every single point crucial. Eight shootout loses is key and we'll have to see if it plays a role as the season comes to an end.

The Wings will take on the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, which will mark there last game before the Olympic break. Two points is what they need and we'll see if they get it.

GO U.S.A. Beat the Canucks.


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