DETROIT - MAY 10: Pavel Datsyuk #13 and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings talk during the second period while playing the San Jose Sharks in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 10, 2011 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Sharks Vs. Red Wings, Game 6: Detroit Forces Game 7 With 3-1 Win

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Sharks Vs. Red Wings, Game 6: Detroit Third Period Comeback Forces Game 7

The first game in this series to be decided by more than a goal, but it was an empty netter. After falling behind 1-0 early in the third period, the Detroit Red Wings scored three unanswered goals and defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 of their Western Conference Semifinal. They fell down 3-0 in the series and have come back to even it up, forcing a deciding seventh game at the Shark Tank on Thursday night. 

It was a hard-fought first two periods, with Detroit driving the offensive play and getting more of the chances by far, out-shooting the Sharks in the game 44-25 and in the first 40 minutes 32-13. Antii Niemi was terrific for San Jose in the first two frames, as the only thing keeping the game close. Jimmy Howard was solid for Detroit as well, but after two periods we were stuck at nil-nil. 

Finally, at 4:03 of the third, after being out-shot more than 2-to-1 throughout the game, the Sharks broke through. Logan Couture came down the right wing and just blasted a shot on Jimmy Howard. The puck squibbed between Howard's legs and crawled just barely across the goal line and in, despite Howard and the Detroit defense's best, last gasp attempts to desperately save it. It was Couture, the Calder Trophy nominee, with his fifth goal of the post-season to make it 1-0 San Jose. 

Full marks to Detroit for finally getting on the board when their backs were on the wall, however. Valtieri Filppula found Niklas Kronwall at the point. Kronwall, who had raced on the ice from his own bench on a change to make the play, ripped a shot that was re-directed and past Antii Niemi to tie the game. Henrik Zetterberg was the one who got a stick on it in front of the net, and Zetterberg's second goal of the series made it 1-1 at 10:38. 

Filppula made the pass to set up the first Red Wing goal by Zetterberg, and shortly after, had the favor returned. Pavel Datsyuk made a terrific pass across to find Filppula, who shot it between the legs of a defending Shark, and by the prone Niemi to give the Red Wings the lead of all things, after being dealt the game's first deficit just 10 minutes earlier. It was Filppula's second of the playoffs, while it was Datsyuk's 11th assist at 12:32. 

From there, Jimmy Howard made good on what some would call a weak goal. He made some grand saves for the rest of the third period, as the Sharks were suddenly forced to go hard at Detroit and get a goal to avoid a Game 7. Howard was solid, as if making a statement to the hockey world that he is deserving of his starting job, something many are still unwilling to recognize him as. He was especially good on a San Jose power play a few minutes after the goal. 

Late in the period, San Jose pulled their goalie, and they found the chamber with the bullet in hockey's Russian roulette. Henrik Zetterberg deposited into the open cage from center ice. The replays afterward showed the Red Wings had too many men on the ice, but it wouldn't have mattered, as San Jose could not score on Howard before the end of the game. What a comeback by Detroit to force Game 7. See you in two nights. 

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Sharks Vs. Red Wings, Game 6: Still Scoreless After Two Periods

The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks continue to battle with the mentality of a Game 7 in Game 6 of their Western Conference Semifinal series at Joe Louis Arena. Despite terrific chances, gritty play and lots of power plays, neither team was able to put one home. We are scoreless after two periods. 

Detroit continued to dominate offensive play, out-shooting the Sharks 14-7 in period two for a game total so far of 32-13. Thankfully, for San Jose, Antii Niemi has been remarkable in goal, making 32 saves. Jimmy Howard has been good when he is needed, making 13 of his own. Daniel Clearly had the game's best chance, with a clean breakaway on Niemi, and even faked him out, but missed the goal. Detroit is now 0-for-4 on the power play, San Jose is 0-for-3. Detroit will have a 1:10 power play to begin the third. 

The hitting slowed down a bit in the second period, with the two period total now 25-23 in favor of the Sharks. This may be the best game of the playoffs so far, and it's starting to look like it may be a 1-0 winner on either side. Stay tuned, and if you haven't been watching this one yet, get to a TV!

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Sharks Vs. Red Wings: Niemi Holds Off Red Wings Heavy Attack In Scoreless First

It was a heavy-hitting, hard charging, offensive, aggressive first period at the Joe Louis Arena. Yet, it all ended with the score the same as it was when we began. The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks are scoreless after one period in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal.

The Red Wings came out loaded for bear in the first period, out-shooting the Sharks 18-6. Antii Niemi, however, was fantastic in the opening period, stopping all 18 of the Red Wings shots. The Red Wings had two power plays (one short) and went 0-for-2. Detroit kept getting chance after chance, but the Sharks eventually started to come along towards the end of the period. Their lone power play lasted only 32 seconds and was unsuccessful. Jimmy Howard made six saves for the Wings. 

The period was also extremely hard hitting. Douglas Murray and Niclas Wallin led San Jose with three hits in the period, with Murray letting go on the loudest thumps of the opening 20 minutes. Jonathan Ericsson led the Red Wings in hits with three himself. San Jose actually out-hit Detroit in the first by a count of 15-14. This is shaping up to be a goaltending duel as the Red Wings look to force Game 7.

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