SAN JOSE, Calif. – Patrick Marleau scored the tiebreaking goal 6:59 into the third period and the San Jose Sharks eliminated the two-time defending Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings with a 2-1 victory Saturday night in Game 5 of their second-round series.
Joe Thornton scored the first goal for San Jose and then set up Marleau’s tally with a pass from behind the net to help the Sharks advance to the conference final for the second time in franchise history by beating Detroit 4-1 in the series.
Marleau and goalie Evgeni Nabokov are the only two players remaining from the 2004 team that lost to Calgary in six games.
Detroit got its first goal early in the second when Brian Rafalski’s point shot sneaked through to make it 1-0. Johan Franzen assisted on that goal, tying Gordie Howe’s franchise record set in 1964 by recording a point in 12 straight playoff games.
PITTSBURGH (AP)?Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves, Kris Letang scored on a power play after accidentally setting up Montreal’s decisive goal in the previous game and the Penguins moved within a victory of eliminating the Canadiens.
Sergei Gonchar also scored as the reigning Stanley Cup champions seized a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Game 6 set for Montreal on Monday night. The Canadiens, held to four goals in the last three games, must win to force a Game 7 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Sidney Crosby remained without a goal in the series and Evgeni Malkin also didn’t find the net?he did set up Letang’s pivotal goal late in the first period?but the Penguins had enough offence without their stars to support Fleury’s best game of the playoffs.
Mike Cammalleri scored with 30 seconds to play, but it was much too late for the Canadiens.