Franzen Nets Hat-Trick In First Period, Red Wings Destroy Sharks, 7-1

The Red Wings avoided a sweep, and then some. Led by Johan Franzen's first period hat-trick and six points total, Detroit rolled past San Jose Thursday night in Game 4, 7-1. Read more at Fear The Fin and Winging It In Motown.

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Red Wings 7, Sharks 1: Detroit Stays Alive, Blasts San Jose

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Johan Franzen notched a natural hat trick in a fabulous first period, sparking the Detroit Red Wings to a resounding 7-1 win over San Jose to stay alive after four games of their Western Conference semifinal series at Joe Louis Arena.

Franzen was a Todd Bertuzzi shin pad away from matching the NHL playoff record for goals in a period. He completed the hat trick in a span of 3:26, with his third tally giving Detroit, which was facing elimination, a 4-0 lead at 11:16.

Franzen eventually picked up his fourth goal on a power play at 7:33 of the third to go along with two assists.

Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg both collected three assists for the Red Wings, who avoided getting swept out of the playoffs for the first time since losing a 2003 first-round matchup with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Only two teams have ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a series -- the New York Islanders in 1975 and the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1942. Detroit's quest to join the small fraternity continues Saturday in San Jose.

Valtteri Filppula and Brian Rafalski also scored for the two-time defending conference champions, while Calder Trophy nominee Jimmy Howard made 28 saves.

San Jose starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov stopped just four of the nine shots he faced in the forgettable opening frame. Thomas Greiss replaced Nabokov at the beginning of the second period and finished with 26 saves.

The Sharks had won six in a row since defenseman Dan Boyle's own-goal in Game 3 of their opening-round series against Colorado.

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