Joe Pavelski is far from the “other” Joe right now. He tied the game 1-1 with yet another goal on the powerplay about midway through the first period. This makes it five consecutive games with at least one goal for the red hot Big Pavelski. (The puck abides?) Ryane Clowe also had some really nice scoring chances in the early going so it was great to see him rewarded when Pavelski (who else?) melted Brad Stuart’s brain and sent a brilliant pass Clowe’s way for a 2-1 goal.
Joe Thornton started off the period very strong, looking sharp and decisive. Unfortunately for Jumbo Joe, one mistake opened things up for the Detroit Red Wings. Thornton sent an errant pass to what should have been a defenseman on the left point, only no one was there. Correction: No one but Pavel Datsyuk, who beguiled a backchecking Thornton, a Sharks defenseman and Evgeni Nabokov to score a knuckleball of a goal to start the night’s scoring.
Jimmy Howard has been strong so far as the Sharks carried the early play, while one must wonder where Nabokov’s head might be. Nabokov allowed a goal on only the second shot of the game and is a troubling 5-for-7 so far. Howard allowed two goals, but made two gigantic (and difficult) glove saves to keep the Red Wings in the game and went 13-for-15 in the first.
The Red Wings must feel pretty good about this game because they were able tie things up despite being out-shot, out-hustled and beaten pretty badly in the faceoff circle to boot. It’s been a great game so far. Stay tuned for more updates.