Wings Devour Sharks; Earn 40th Win
Detroit did exactly what they needed to do in order to have a chance at the top see in the western conference by beating the Sharks 4-1 in the final meeting of the regular season. The two teams spilt the season series 2-2 with each team winning both games on their home ice.
Marian Hossa scored the first goal of the game, on the power play, but left with a concussion and was held out of the third period for precautionary reasons. Ville Leino scored later in the first to make it 2-0.
Henrik Zetterberg scored the first of his two goals, shorthanded in the second to make it 3-0.
The Sharks answered with a goal by Christian Ehrhoff on the power play but would manage nothing else.
Zetterberg added another in the third, on the power play, to ice it.
"It's the win that counts," Zetterberg said. "For sure, we want the first seed, but it's going to be tough because they're ahead of us with 21 games left."
Zetterberg also made it clear that – despite the Red Wings Stanley Cup last spring – they are still trailing the sharks – who remain the favorites to win the west – by three points and have played two extra games.
"They're ahead of us," Zetterberg said. "You can't live in the past."
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Ty Conklin made 34 saves for the Red Wings, winning his 12th straight home start, and earning his 22nd win of the season.
At the rate things have been going in the series, home ice advantage appears it could be the deciding factor in a seven game series. Detroit has struggled on the road in recent weeks as has San Jose.
Detroit was competitive in their two losses in the Shark tank, while the Sharks were soundly beaten by a combined score of 10-1 in Joe Louis Arena this season. Assuming the Western Conference finals shake out the way many expect and these two meet, it may come down to who can win on the road.
By: Erich Straub
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent