Wings leave California Shark Bitten
The Sharks were able to outshoot the Wings and avenge last month’s embarrassment in Detroit with a 6-5 win to improve to 21-1-2 at home and move past the Bruins for the league’s best record.
Dan Boyle got the scoring started just 2:59 into the first but The Wings responded as Valtteri Filppula tied it just 1 minute and 8 seconds later. Joe Pavelski gave the Sharks back the lead at the close of the first.
The Wings appeared to have gotten things flowing in the second period when they took a 3-2 lead thanks to a power play goal by Marion Hossa – his 22nd, and Johan Franzen – his 21st. Henrik Zetterberg scored his 17th of the season later in the period but the Sharks got two power play goals in the second by Christian Ehrhoff and Jonathan Cheechoo to tie it at 4. Detroit had 6 penalties in the second period alone, the Sharks had five.
Midway through the third, Milan Michalek broke the tie. Patrick Marleau scored on a break away three minutes later, slipping the puck past Osgood, to make it 6-4.
Brian Rafalski cut into the deficit with less than two minutes to go but The Sharks were able to hold on and take the second of their three games with Detroit. In a turn of events, there were no penalties in the third period.
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"He's going to miss some time," Coach Lindy Ruff said. "We'll find out how much Sunday."
Connolly scored his second on the only goal of the second period snapping a wrister over Ward’s shoulder to make it 3-0. Thomas Vanek had two assists but has not scored a goal in the last 4 games, slipping into third in the league.
Ray Whitney led a furious third period surge by the Hurricanes, scoring on a break away just 17 seconds in to spoil the shut out. He slipped the puck through Miller’s legs, who was expecting him to pass it.
Ryan Miller was magnificent once again, stopping 36 shots to win his 21st of the season. He’s now 6-1 in the month of January with a 2.00 GAA and .943 save percentage.
"Miller played great for us," Connolly said. "Whenever he plays like that we're probably going to win the hockey game."
Buffalo was out shot 19-5 in the third but was able to hold onto the win thanks to superb goaltending by Miller and a good power play kill but the Sabres still struggled to keep the puck out of their own zone.
Carolina did have a man advantage for nearly four minutes pulling goalie Cam Ward, who finished with 26 saves but lost his fifth straight, allowing 13 goals over that span.
The Sabres will travel to Florida to begin a six game road trip. They’ll play the Panthers Monday and the Lightning Wednesday before heading into the all star break.
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent