Setoguchi, Sharks put Wings on the ropes
Devin Setoguchi picked a good time to get his first playoff hat trick.
Setoguchi scored his third goal of the game 9:21 into overtime, giving the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings and a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night.
He had only one goal in his first eight games this post-season and eight in 38 playoff games. Setoguchi notched his first NHL hat trick of any kind earlier this year.
"You need people to step up," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He's got a tremendous trigger."
The Sharks will have a chance to sweep the series in Game 4 on Friday night in Detroit.
"We know what we have to do or it's over," Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom said.
The storied franchise has history -- and a hot team -- working against it.
Just three teams in NHL history, including Philadelphia last year, have won a series after trailing 0-3.
"I'm going to spend no time worrying about the series," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We're going to spend our time preparing for one game."
A much-needed win got away from Detroit after Dan Boyle scored the tying goal with 4:08 left in regulation, setting up the Sharks' second overtime win of the series and fifth this post-season.
"We just take some deep breaths," said Joe Thornton, who assisted on the winning goal. "We feel we've got so many gifted players that can end games at any time."
Pavel Datsyuk scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period, but Detroit couldn't hold on.
The Red Wings also didn't capitalize when Setoguchi went to the penalty box at 5:14 of overtime for holding, failing to score a third power-play goal.
"All you're thinking is, 'Don't score, don't score, don't score,"' Setoguchi said. "I thought our penalty killing did a great job on that power play."
San Jose made the Red Wings pay for the missed opportunity. Thornton patiently got the puck to Setoguchi at the top of the right circle for a wrist shot that went across goalie Jimmy Howard and into the net.
"He kind of had the hot hand all night," Thornton said. "So give it to him and let him do all the work."
Howard made 34 saves.
"Point blank, I thought we deserved to win," Howard said.
But the Red Wings didn't in large part because Antti Niemi stopped 38 shots for the Sharks.
San Jose won the first three games of last year's second-round series -- including Game 3 by 4-3 in OT -- against the Red Wings and eliminated Detroit in Game 5.
"It's pretty much deja vu from last year," Red Wings defenceman Brad Stuart said.
Setoguchi scored first Wednesday night, a power-play goal midway through the first period, and made it 2-all late in the second with another man-advantage goal.
Lidstrom scored off of Henrik Zetterberg's no-look, between-the-legs pass with 22 seconds left in the first period to get the Red Wings even. Patrick Eaves put Detroit ahead 2-1, but Setoguchi tied it 50 seconds later in the second period.
Both goalies made big saves to keep the third period scoreless until Howard went low, and Boyle shot high from the right circle to make it 3-3.
The high-pace, hard-hitting game with shots trickling to the side of the posts at both ends of the rink fired up the sold-out crowd in the first period. The towel-twirling fans roared when Detroit's Niklas Kronwall put Dany Heatley on his back with a hard, clean check.
The Sharks got even where it mattered. Setoguchi got to a loose puck in front of the net and shot it past Howard with 7:03 left in the first to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Lidstrom didn't waste Zetterberg's highlight-worthy pass, slapping a shot that went in and out of the net in the final minute of the first. The power-play goal was the 29th of Lidstrom's career in the playoffs, breaking Denis Potvin's mark for a defenceman and matching Mario Lemieux's fifth-place total in NHL history. He had an assist on Datsyuk's goal for the 128th of his post-season career, equaling Doug Gilmour for fifth place on the NHL list.
Eaves scored Detroit's first go-ahead goal, getting a backhander past a sprawling Niemi with 6:01 left in the second period. Setoguchi tied it less than a minute later.
Late in the second period, Detroit took advantage of Setoguchi's holding penalty.
Lidstrom carried the puck up ice and got it to Zetterberg, who pulled up and feathered a pass that directly set up a second power-play goal that wasn't enough.
"It's a tough loss," Lidstrom said. "Especially with having the lead late in the third period, them scoring a goal and taking it into overtime and us not capitalizing on our power play in overtime."