Thu, May 12, 2011 - Page 20 News List

NHL: Red Wings force decider with 3-1 win over Sharks


Left wing Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, right, watches as San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, center, and defenseman Jason Demers fail to stop a shot from center Valtteri Filppula during Game 6 of their NHL Western Conference semi-final series in Detroit, Michigan, on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

The Detroit Red Wings rallied with a three-goal salvo in the final 10 minutes for a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, forcing a deciding Game 7 in their Western Conference semi-final series.

It was the Red Wings’ third consecutive victory over the Sharks, and they will attempt to become just the fourth team to recover from a 3-0 deficit to win an NHL playoff series in San Jose, California, today.

“I think you have to believe all the time, whatever the score is, even if you’re behind, that you can come back,” Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula told reporters. “Believing we can, it’s definitely a big part of it.”

The Red Wings had the most of the play throughout, but were trailing 1-0 with 16 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the game, and potentially their season, after Logan Couture squeezed a shot through the legs of Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard.

Filppula, however, keyed the Red Wings rally, setting up the equalizer for Henrik Zetterberg with 9 minutes, 22 seconds remaining, before scoring the winning goal two minutes later past a brilliant Antti Niemi, who made 42 saves.

“You can’t take much out of this game other than Nemo [Niemi] was great,” Sharks defenseman Doug Murray said. “We put up an embarrassing effort ... It’s about whatever it takes to get yourself ready. We weren’t skating, we weren’t making quick plays, we weren’t doing anything right.”

Darren Helm scored into an empty net for the third goal with just over a minute remaining at Joe Louis Arena to send the series to the sudden-death showdown.

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