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Evgeni Nabokov stopped a career-high 50 shots and Patrick Marleau scored the lone goal in a shootout to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 road victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Marleau drew Jimmy Howard to the left side and beat him with a high shot.

"I came in and just waited for him to make a move," Marleau said. "He tried for the poke check and I was able to get around him."

Joe Thornton and Dwight Helminen scored in regulation for the Sharks. It was the Western Conference leaders' first win in four games this season with Detroit (1-2-1).

San Jose rebounded from their lone loss in the last five games, a 3-0 result in Columbus on Wednesday.

Johan Franzen and Jason Williams scored for Detroit, and Howard made 24 saves.

With the result, Detroit (27-21-12) failed to climb out of ninth place in the Western Conference. They trailed Calgary by two points heading into Thursday's action.

The Red Wings have lost their last four games (0-2-2).

"We did battle back and get one point out of it," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "But I think we had some quality chances to win the game, too. Their goalie was the difference. He made some great saves."

Howard was sharp early on, stretching to make a save on Devin Setoguchi in the slot. Setoguchi had been set up nicely by a Dany Heatley pass.

With San Jose forward Jed Ortmeyer in the penalty box, the Wings passed the puck up ice to set up the power-play goal. Franzen took Henrik Zetterberg's pass and fired a shot from the right circle over Nabokov's glove.

It was Franzen's second game after missing four months because of left knee surgery. The goal was his second of the season and first since his return.

"I think we played good. We played with a lot of speed," Franzen said. "It looked like last year, not like the past two months here."

The Sharks replied just 25 seconds later. Thornton was at the side of the net to take Niclas Wallin's original shot off the back boards and stuff it in before Howard could get in position.

It was Thornton's third goal against the Red Wings this season.

"To have Jumbo's [Thornton] line come right back and respond was big," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "It got everybody up on the bench."

Nabokov gave a hint of things to come with a strong save on Lidstrom's point blast, and the Red Wings would get caught in a breakdown as the period ended.

Helminen was left alone in the slot to follow through on his shot with 10 seconds left in the period.

It was Helminen's second NHL goal, the first coming last season while he was a member of Carolina.

He grew up in Brighton, 40 miles west of Detroit, and played at the University of Michigan.

"That's one I'll remember for sure," Helminen said. "I had a lot of family at the game."

The Wings would outshoot San Jose 31-15 over the final two periods, finally tying the game on the Williams score with just over seven minutes left.

Williams beat Nabokov with a wrist shot from the right face-off dot for his fourth of the season. It wasn't originally called a goal, but play has halted 12 seconds later for a video review, which showed the puck went in and out under the crossbar.

Defenceman Niklas Kronwall missed his fourth game with a sore left knee. The Swede had previously played in five games for the Wings after missing two months because of a left knee injury.

Detroit will host Ottawa on Saturday night in a Hockey Night in Canada (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

Should Kronwall not be able to play against the Senators, his participation in the Olympics is doubtful.

With files from CBCSports.ca