Red Wings steal Game 5, put pressure on Sharks

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SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) - There wasn’t any big speech or dramatic moment back in a quiet San Jose Sharks locker room, just a simple two-word message from a few veterans: Move on.

At this point, the Detroit Red Wings have given them no choice.

Tomas Holmstrom broke a tie with 6:08 remaining, and the Red Wings scored three third-period goals to avoid elimination with a 4-3 victory over the Sharks on Sunday night.

Danny Cleary and Jonathan Ericsson also scored in the final period to send the series back to Detroit for Game 6 on Tuesday night. After winning the first three games, San Jose is clinging to a 3-2 lead.

“The message that I heard in the locker room from the guys and the leaders of our team was, “You know what? It’s behind us, now we have to move on,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “Keep your heads and get ready to play again.”

Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi scored to help the Sharks take a 3-1 lead early in the third period. Then the Red Wings scored two quick goals before Holmstrom redirected the winner past Antti Niemi, leaving a sellout crowd stunned and silent.

Niklas Kronwell also scored and Pavel Datsyuk added three assists for Detroit.

“There’s a lot of character on this team. There’s not any quit,” said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves. “Our season was on the line there in the third period, and we found a way.”

The Red Wings moved closer to adding to their already storied history.

The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers are the only teams to win a series after losing the first three games. With Chicago winning three straight to force a Game 7 against Vancouver in the opening round, that’s enough precedent to give Detroit hope that it can push San Jose to the brink.

The Red Wings already have overcome a repeat of last season, when they went down 3-0 to the Sharks _ just like this year _ before being eliminated in Game 5 at San Jose.

No encore this time.

Detroit came back again with a strong push up ice and sent several shots at Niemi after going down two goals. In a span of 1:46, the Red Wings got a goal from Ericsson and another from Cleary on a wraparound shot for the equalizer.

Then Nicklas Lidstrom sent a slap shot from the center that was deflected on net by Holmstrom, redirected top shelf to beat Niemi and shock a towel-waving crowd that was ready to toast a berth in the Western Conference finals for the second straight season.

“I didn’t know it went in right away,” Holmstrom said. “But I saw the ref point at the net and I felt pretty good.”

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