Devin Setoguchi picked a good time to get his first playoff hat trick.
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Setoguchi scored his third goal of the game 9:21 into overtime, giving the San Jose Sharks a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings and a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.
He had only one goal in his first eight games this postseason and eight in 38 playoff games. Setoguchi notched his first NHL hat trick of any kind earlier this year.
”You need people to step up,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. ”He’s got a tremendous trigger.”
The Sharks will have a chance to sweep the series in Game 4 on Friday night in Detroit.
”We know what we have to do, or it’s over,” Red Wings star Nicklas Lidstrom said.
The storied franchise has history — and a hot team — working against it.
Just three teams in NHL history, including Philadelphia last year, have won a series after trailing 0-3.
”I’m going to spend no time worrying about the series,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. ”We’re going to spend our time preparing for one game.”
A much-needed win got away from Detroit after Dan Boyle scored the tying goal with 4:08 left in regulation, setting up the Sharks’ second overtime win of the series and fifth this postseason.
”We just take some deep breaths,” said Joe Thornton, who assisted on the winning goal. ”We feel we’ve got so many gifted players that can end games at any time.”
Pavel Datsyuk scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period, but Detroit couldn’t hold on.
The Red Wings also didn’t capitalize when Setoguchi went to the penalty box at 5:14 of overtime for holding, failing to score a third power-play goal.
”All you’re thinking is, ‘Don’t score, don’t score, don’t score,”’ Setoguchi said. ”I thought our penalty killing did a great job on that power play.”
San Jose made the Red Wings pay for the missed opportunity. Thornton patiently got the puck to Setoguchi at the top of the right circle for a wrist shot that went across goalie Jimmy Howard and into the net.
”He kind of had the hot hand all night,” Thornton said. ”So, give it to him and let him do all the work.”
Howard made 34 saves.
”Point blank, I thought we deserved to win,” Howard said.
But the Red Wings didn’t in large part because Antti Niemi stopped 38 shots for the Sharks.
San Jose won the first three games of last year’s second-round series — including Game 3 by a 4-3 score in OT — against the Red Wings and eliminated Detroit in Game 5.
”It’s pretty much deja vu from last year,” Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart said.
The Sharks’ last seven wins in the postseason against Detroit have been by one goal. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs have done that, beating the Montreal Canadiens by a single goal in seven straight victories from the 1947 to 1959 playoffs, according to STATS, LLC.
Setoguchi scored first Wednesday night, a power-play goal midway through the first period, and made it 2-2 late in the second with another man-advantage goal.
Lidstrom scored off Henrik Zetterberg’s no-look, between-the-legs pass with 22 seconds left in the first period to get the Red Wings even. Patrick Eaves put Detroit ahead 2-1, but Setoguchi tied it 50 seconds later in the second period.
Both goalies made big saves to keep the third period scoreless until Howard went low, and Boyle shot high from the right circle to make it 3-3.
The high-pace, hard-hitting game with shots trickling to the side of the posts at both ends of the rink fired up the sold-out crowd in the first period. The towel-twirling fans roared when Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall put Dany Heatley on his back with a hard, clean check.
The Sharks got even where it mattered. Setoguchi got to a loose puck in front of the net and shot it past Howard with 7:03 left in the first to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
Lidstrom didn’t waste Zetterberg’s highlight-worthy pass, slapping a shot that went in and out of the net in the final minute of the first. The power-play goal was the 29th of Lidstrom’s career in the playoffs, breaking Denis Potvin’s mark for a defenseman and matching Mario Lemieux’s fifth-place total in NHL history. He had an assist on Datsyuk’s goal for the 128th of his postseason career, equaling Doug Gilmour for fifth place on the NHL list.
Eaves scored Detroit’s first go-ahead goal, getting a backhander past a sprawling Niemi with 6:01 left in the second period. Setoguchi tied it less than a minute later.
Late in the second period, Detroit took advantage of Setoguchi’s holding penalty.
Lidstrom carried the puck up ice and got it to Zetterberg, who pulled up and feathered a pass that directly set up a second power-play goal that wasn’t enough.
”It’s a tough loss,” Lidstrom said. ”Especially with having the lead late in the third period, them scoring a goal and taking it into overtime and us not capitalizing on our power play in overtime.”
NOTES: The 2010 Flyers, 1942 Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders are the only NHL teams to overcome 3-0 deficits to win a best-of-seven playoff series. The Flyers became the first to trail 0-3 and force a Game 7 since the ’75 Islanders. Chicago repeated the feat in the first round this year before losing Game 7 in OT at Vancouver. … Heatley was slow to get up after Kronwall’s hit and went to the dressing room, but returned to play late in the period. … Faces in the crowd included musicians Hank Williams, Jr. and Kid Rock, who were sitting together, along with NHLPA chief Donald Fehr, the longtime head of baseball’s union, with former player Mathieu Schneider. … Several octopi were thrown on the ice during the national anthem.