Alex Nedeljkovic did everything he could to help the Detroit Red Wings sneak past the San Jose Sharks, but the team couldn’t quite finish up the job in overtime.
At this point, it’s weirder when the game doesn’t start with a Givani Smith fight. Just a few minutes in, the young forward whipped off the gloves and went to blows with Jeffrey Viel.
San Jose controlled play by just a bit in the first chunk of the period, but the momentum was broken up with a hooking penalty that sent Detroit to the power play. However, the Red Wings woes on the man advantage reappeared and the team couldn’t convert.
Just after the power play expired, Detroit committed a penalty of their own, although they were able to successfully kill the ensuing power play attempt by the Sharks (thanks to some great saves by Nedeljkovic). However, yet another penalty by Detroit led to a successful conversion by San Jose. The Sharks went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
After Moritz Seider left the ice with a puck to the face (he would later return after getting the injury cleaned up), the Red Wings finally started to apply some offensive pressure. Of course, they followed this up with a penalty. The penalty kill unit successfully stifled the Sharks try on the man advantage.
The rest of the penalty went by quickly, until a pair of penalties in the final two minutes gave the Red Wings a 5-on-3 opportunity. Although the two-man advantage looked quite bad, Filip Hronek found an open lane to the left of the net with seconds left, and Tyler Bertuzzi tapped it in for the tying goal.
Nick Leddy kicked off the final period with a bang, knifing through the neutral zone and ripping in a wrister for his first goal with the Red Wings. Just over a minute later, the Sharks answered with one of their own.
After each team scored a goal in the first four minutes, the rest of the period flew by. San Jose had most of the chances offensively, but Detroit had a few quality chances of their own. Ultimately, neither team was able to find the back of the net again in regulation, and the game went to overtime.
The Sharks finally solved the Nedeljkovic puzzle in the crease in overtime, skating away with the extra point in the standings.
A few observations:
That was an awful road trip for Detroit. It was only three games on the west coast, but it felt like it was much longer (maybe that’s because fans on the east coast had to sacrifice some sleep to watch it). The Wings went winless, their captain got injured and they played poorly for a majority of each game.
How will the team respond? Yes, that was a horrible three-game stretch, but Detroit has had some rough stretches throughout the season. With a couple of home games coming up, can the Red Wings right the ship? If the team looks like it did on the west coast, any remaining hope for a playoff push will be completely squashed.
Alex Nedeljkovic was stellar. Let’s be honest: Neddy was the only reason Detroit was still in this game. The Sharks tallied forty shots on goal, with plenty of quality scoring chances throughout. Nedeljkovic did all he could to will the Wings to a victory.
Good for Nick Leddy. The best thing about this game? Leddy’s fantastic goal to take the lead in the third. It was his first goal in Detroit as well. Good for him.