Sharks have Red Wings on thin ice
DETROIT — Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks took a huge step toward quieting their critics.
Thornton's assist set up Patrick Marleau's winning score 7:07 into overtime and his second goal in two games sparked a comeback for San Jose, which beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3, last night to grab a 3-0 lead in the second-round series.
The sweet-passing center has been called "No Show Joe" by some for not producing in the playoffs.
"I don't know how this evolved, but you saw a very determined nineteen," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said, referring to Thornton by his jersey number.
Thornton, meanwhile, shrugged off what he had done.
"Business as usual," he said.
San Jose has been dogged for failing to get to the Western Conference finals since its longest run in 2004, but an impressive rally from a 3-1 deficit with 13 minutes left in regulation could prove to be pivotal for the franchise.
"Hopefully down the road we can look back and say, 'You know this was a turning point,' " defenseman Dan Boyle said. "But again, there's still too much work ahead of us."
Game 4 is tomorrow night in Detroit.
PENGUINS 2, CANADIENS 0
MONTREAL — The Pittsburgh Penguins' power play knocked Montreal's surprising playoff run off track, and native son Marc-Andre Fleury delivered the coup de grace to silence an enthusiastic Canadiens crowd.
Evgeni Malkin scored his fourth power-play goal 1:16 into the third period and Fleury made 18 saves for his fourth NHL playoff shutout, lifting Pittsburgh over the Canadiens last night and a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Montreal hadn't been shut out at home in the playoffs since back-to-back blankings by Buffalo at the old Forum on April 6-7, 1983, in the first two games of an opening-round, three-game sweep.
Malkin took Sergei Gonchar's pass and fired a one-timer from the right side past Jaroslav Halak to give the Penguins a 1-0 edge with his fifth goal of the playoffs.
"It seems like we're having good chemistry with him and we're finding those lanes," Gonchar said. "When he's there he has a chance to shoot but you have to realize there were a couple of guys in front. Sidney (Crosby) was in front of the goalie and (Chris Kunitz) was too, so it was kind of a five-man effort when we scored the goal."
Pascal Dupuis scored into an empty net with 15 seconds remaining to seal the victory.