Valtteri Filppula scored his first goal of the season and also had an assist, and Tomas Holmstrom added a goal and an assist in Detroit’s 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
Andreas Lilja, Henrik Zetterberg and Kirk Maltby also scored in Detroit’s fourth straight victory. Chris Osgood made 10 saves, allowing only Alexei Semenov’s late power-play goal.
The 11 shots on goal are fewest San Jose has ever had in a road game. The previous low was 12.
“They played really, really well tonight, and we played really badly,” Joe Thornton said. “That’s not a good combination for us.”
Sharks’ goalie Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots before being pulled in the third period.
Filppula opened the scoring 1:24 into the contest on the first shot of the game, beating Nabokov with a high backhander as he skated down the slot.
“I think we came out really hard,” Lilja said. “That’s one of the keystones of our game.”
The goal was a longtime coming for Filppula, who has had a lot of good chances this season, but didn’t even have a point in the Red Wings’ first 10 games.
“I felt I had a couple of chances earlier in the year,” he said. “I am glad I finally got one.”
Filppula then set up Lilja’s goal, which came with 4:29 left in the opening period. Filppula carried the puck into the San Jose zone in the middle of the ice and cut to the right. He then passed back to Lilja in the high slot. The defenceman took a couple of strides and beat Nabokov high to the glove side with a wrist shot.
“Unbelievable play,” said Lilja, whose last goal came in April 2006. “He (Filppula) took both players with him and gave it to me, and I was side open.”
Holmstrom scored his eighth goal just 39 seconds into the third period when he ripped in a loose puck from the bottom of the right circle.
“That one kind of broke their spirit a little bit,” said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.
Zetterberg scored his eighth goal 8:12 into the third period, which sent Nabokov to the bench in favour of Dimitri Patzold.
Malby greeted him with his third goal just 22 seconds later.
“They were great on offence and didn’t give us much room,” said Christian Ehrhoff. “But we didn’t skate as well as we could to let them to it.”
Notes: Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek missed the game because of a hip irritation. … The Red Wings and centre Kris Draper agreed to a three-year contact extension that averages US$1.6-million per season. … San Jose RW Mike Grier was born in Detroit. … The Red Wings are 11-0-5 in Osgood’s last 16 starts. … Zetterberg’s goal put him atop the NHL scoring list with 19 points. … Grier and Ryane Clowe collided with a little over three minutes left in the game when Clowe tried to check Pavel Datsyuk in the Detroit zone. But Datsyuk moved out of the way, Clowe hit Grier and both players went heavily to the ice.