Setoguchi's trick nets Sharks win

San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic congratulate goalie Antti...

San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic congratulate goalie Antti Niemi. (REUTERS/Chad Ziemendorf)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:07 AM ET

DETROIT - As Devin Setoguchi sat in the San Jose Sharks room getting ready for OT, he warned Logan Couture his goal celebration was already planned out.

Little did Setoguchi know he’d get to use it.

The Sharks winger stepped up to play the role of hero in a big way by completing a hat-trick at 9:21 of OT by beating Jimmy Howard with a wrist shot to push the Detroit Red Wings to the brink of elimination at Joe Louis Arena.

Now, thanks to Setoguchi’s efforts and a late goal by Dan Boyle to send it to OT, San Jose is holding a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semi-final. The Sharks can send the Wings on vacation with a victory Friday in Game 4.

“I looked over at Logan Couture and I said you better get it before I do because I’ve already got my celebration ready to go,” said Setoguchi. “He said, ‘So do I.’ I said well I’m going to go for the Ronaldo on one knee.

“He said, ‘Well that was mine.’ So I said I’ll try and beat you to it. It’s kind of weird in happened that way.”

Actually, everybody in the San Jose dressing room was in the mood to celebrate. Their fifth straight OT victory in the playoffs came exactly a year to the day Patrick Marleau gave the Wings a 3-0 lead last spring.

This one was tough. Knowing they’d be in a difficult spot if they didn’t get up off the mat, the Wings threw everything they had at the Sharks and San Jose had to kill off a powerplay in OT with Setoguchi off for holding.

“To get that goal, after taking the penalty and sitting there for two minutes, is a good feeling,” said Setoguchi. “You’re not really thinking. All you’re thinking is, ‘Don’t score, don’t score, don’t score’ over and over in your head. I thought out penalty killing did a great job on that powerplay.

“They’re so lethal. It’s a tough job to contain them. It’s a tough job for the ref either way, but clearly I wasn’t hold on. He’s got my hand. If I was holding him, I wouldn’t have fell right on my back.”

The Wings worked hard and came out with a plan to be physical. They fired 41 shots at San Jose goalie Antti Niemi and he came up big. Only Pavel Datsyuk, Patrick Eaves and Nicklas Lidstrom scored for the Wings.

Boyle’s goal with 4:08 left in the third and the Sharks trailing 3-2 was a big difference maker. It planted a seed of doubt in the minds of the Detroit players who were trying badly not to get down 3-0 for a second straight spring.

“We’re just very, very comfortable,” said Sharks’ captain Joe Thornton, who had three assists, including one on the winning goal. “Our locker-room is really calm. We just take some deep breaths and we feel we’ve got so many gifted players that can end games at any time.

“We were lucky to get in overtime (Wednesday), but when we do, we’re perfect in overtime so far this year.”

Boyle, who contributed with two-point effort, said the Sharks are playing with determination.

“We’re just finding ways to win,” said Boyle. “This was their best game of the series by far. They gave us a good push and we were lucky a few times. But, you’ve got to find a way to win these games.

“Years from now, we’re not going to remember how it was won, just that we won. We were strong in all areas.”

There could be one big celebration left for Setoguchi and the Sharks.


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