San Jose defenceman Niclas Wallin grabbed his first goal since December at 1:39 into the third, pushing the Sharks to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
Jimmy Howard got a piece of Wallin’s shot but it bounced over his head, finding the back of the net and putting the Sharks one step closer to taking the best-of-seven series.
Antti Niemi made 33 saves, keeping San Jose in the game in the face of a desperate Detroit onslaught while Howard stopped 35 shots, which was just not good enough on Sunday.
Detroit came out of the gates flying, hoping to even the playing field after its loss to San Jose on Friday, outshooting the Sharks 12-7. However, the tenacity they showed early in the game seemed to fade through the second period.
The Red Wings failed to manage the puck in the second period and did little to control the tempo of the game, spending most of their time looking desperate as they chased the puck.
San Jose capitalized on a sluggish looking Red Wing squad in the second, maintaining its one goal lead into the third. Although Zetterberg’s goal seemed to reinvigorate the Detroit bench, it was too little too late with San Jose’s second goal proving to be just the insurance the Sharks needed.
The Sharks will head to Detroit with a solid 2-0 lead over the Red Wings, moving into Game 3 on Wednesday.
Detroit will likely look to Datsyuk, who has two goals and six assists in the post-season, to bring the Red Wings back into contention in the series and recharge the team’s Stanley Cup push.