Lang tied the game with 33.1 seconds left in regulation. Schneider took advantage of two key San Jose mistakes to score the winner on the power play 16:04 into the first overtime to give the Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Sharks in Game 4 of the second-round series Wednesday night.
Detroit’s second comeback from a 2-0 deficit against San Jose knotted the series at two games apiece heading into Game 5 Saturday in Detroit.
“It’s night and day for us right now,” Schneider said. “It’s a huge momentum shift.”
The Red Wings controlled the play after falling behind 2-0 midway through the second period, but it took them until the final seconds of regulation to tie it. With Dominik Hasek off the ice for an extra skater in the final minute of regulation, the Sharks appeared poised to take a 3-1 series lead.
But Detroit gained control of the puck in the neutral zone and Valtteri Filppula fed Lang, who beat Evgeni Nabokov with a wrist shot from just inside the top of the circle.
“We blew the game in the last minute,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “Some people have to take a good look in the mirror why they were in the position they were in on the ice – cheating on the offensive side of things when the other team has pulled their goalie. If you get on the right side of the puck, nothing bad happens and you don’t have to worry about overtime.”
San Jose had its chances early in overtime, but Hasek made a nice stop on Marcel Goc to help kill off a power play. Then a delay of game penalty on Craig Rivet for shooting the puck into the seats helped set up Detroit’s game-winner.
With the puck deep in San Jose’s end, Scott Hannan tried to clear it up the middle, but Schneider batted it down and fired a shot past Evgeni Nabokov for the winner. The puck deflected off Patrick Rissmiller before sneaking past Nabokov.
“I saw he was getting rushed and once I got it I found a passing lane and shot it over Nabby’s shoulder,” Schneider said. “It had eyes.”
Tomas Holmstrom, playing his first game since he injured his eye when Calgary’s Craig Conroy hit him with his stick April 22 in Detroit’s series-winning victory over the Flames, scored a power-play goal in the final seconds of the second period to start Detroit’s comeback.
Holmstrom’s goal was part of a stretch when the Red Wings outshot the Sharks 20-1. But Nabokov was up to the task and able to keep San Jose in the lead until the final minute of regulation.
“It took all 60 minutes for us to tie the game,” Hasek said. “This is what we do. We’ve battled adversity all year and have been able to come back from it.”
The Sharks had gone ahead 2-0 on a fluky goal by Goc, whose shot from inside the point deflected off defender Andreas Lilja’s helmet and over Hasek’s shoulder.
Goc’s second career playoff goal needed to withstand a replay review before it counted. He shot the puck while teammate Kyle McLaren was being pulled down by a defender in front of the Detroit net. The Red Wings argued the call, thinking the puck hit McLaren’s high stick as he was falling down, but the review upheld the goal.
Joe Thornton set up Jonathan Cheechoo for a first-period goal, marking his seventh straight playoff game with at least one point.
Thornton, last season’s Hart Trophy winner has five points in four games of the series for San Jose.
Goc’s goal came on the first shot by either team in the period. But the Red Wings opened up after that and had 14 shots in the final 10 minutes of the period.
“We had a 2-0 lead and we sat back too much,” Goc said. “Hopefully we learned a lesson. We have to play the same way for 60 minutes.”
The last of those shots put Detroit on the board after McLaren was called for a cross-check with 9.9 seconds to go. The Red Wings won the face off and Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the point. The puck was deflected in front of the net and Holmstrom hacked it past Nabokov with 5.4 seconds to go to bring Detroit within one.
Detroit’s power play was 1-for-10 without Holmstrom in his usual spot in front of the opposing net, where he screens goalies, redirects passes and hassles opposing defenders. The Red Wings were 2-for-5 in Game 4.
Notes: Thornton has an assist in seven straight playoff games, tying Jeff Norton’s franchise record. … Mark Smith returned to San Jose’s lineup after missing the final two months of the season with a groin injury. He replaced Joe Pavelski on the fourth line. … San Jose F Patrick Marleau tied Mike Rathje for most playoff games in Sharks history with 71.