Wings start strong, 6-3
Maltby, Fedorov each score twice vs. Sharks
October 11, 2002
BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby scored two shorthanded goals in the first 7:05 Thursday night, launching the defending Stanley Cup champions to a 6-3 victory over the Sharks in the regular-season opener.
Sergei Fedorov also scored twice for the Wings. Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom each had a goal; Kris Draper and Brendan Shanahan each had two assists. Dave Lewis earned his first victory as an NHL head coach, and goaltender Curtis Joseph earned his first victory for the Wings.
Maltby added an assist to his two goals.
Vincent Damphousse scored twice and Mike Rathje once for the Sharks.
It was supposed to be a big night for the Sharks. The Pacific Division champions unveiled the first banner in their 12-year history, and with everyone expecting them to be Cup contenders, they blared a song with these lyrics: "You ain't seen nothin' yet . . ."
But starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Brad Stuart sat out unsigned. Nabokov's understudy, Miikka Kiprusoff, allowed six goals on the first 15 shots he faced and was pulled after two periods for Vesa Toskala.
Chris Chelios went off for elbowing 1:20 into the first period, and the fans roared. But then San Jose defenseman Jeff Jillson threw the puck into the middle of his zone. Maltby intercepted it, skated in and, when Kiprusoff went down, put it in the upper right corner at 2:01.
Maxim Kuznetsov took a double-minor for high-sticking at 6:03, and the fans roared again. But then Draper raced down the right wing on a 2-on-1. He sent the puck across to Maltby, who waited until Jillson went down and fired it over Kiprusoff's left shoulder at 7:05. Maltby tied the Wings' record for shorthanded goals in a game and a period. Shanahan scored twice shorthanded in last season's regular-season opener at San Jose.
Chelios went off for interference at 10:03, Shanahan for holding at 11:03. Maltby knocked the puck over the Detroit blue line, and some fans booed. But the Sharks took advantage of the 5-on-3 at 11:49, when Damphousse chipped the puck in the slot and it dribbled between Joseph's pads.
The Wings' lead was 2-1. But it quickly went to 4-1. The Wings scored on their first power play at 16:11. Lidstrom threw the puck at the net from the left point. It went through a screen, off Holmstrom and in. Fedorov scored 30 seconds into the second period. He raced up the right wing, pulled up in front of defenseman Bryan Marchment and ripped the puck past Kiprusoff. With an assist, rookie Henrik Zetterberg earned his first NHL point.
Damphousse cut the Wings' lead to 4-2 at 10:35. Joseph settled the puck for Jiri Fischer behind the net, but forward Todd Harvey came barrelling in, took the puck and threw it past Chelios in front. San Jose captain Owen Nolan sent the puck from right to left down low, and Damphousse tapped it into the open net.
Fedorov responded at 11:45, racing up the right wing again and firing a wrist shot past Kiprusoff's right pad. Lidstrom gave the Wings a 6-2 lead with two minutes left in the period. He fired a shot from the right circle. Kiprusoff got his blocker on the puck, but it went off the back of his left skate and crept across the line.
Rathje scored 29 seconds into the third. Damphousse sent a pass into the left circle from behind the net, and Rathje one-timed the puck top shelf.