DETROIT -- Ryane Clowe was determined not to let the San Jose Sharks get blown out by the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinal series, as they were by a 7-1 margin a year ago.
Instead, thanks in large part to Clowe’s three assists on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena, the Sharks are headed back home with their series lead cut to 3-1 but a different feeling than they had at the same point a year ago.
Friday night’s 4-3 loss to the Red Wings could’ve been a blowout after Detroit jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, but Clowe and the Sharks fought their way back into it and made the Red Wings work hard for the win -- which came about thanks to a late goal in the third by Darren Helm.
Following the game, Clowe talked about his big night and where the series now stands:
Q: Sum up the mood in the room right now.
Clowe: It wasn’t a heart-breaking loss. It wasn’t like we blew a lead or anything. They scored at the end of the game and they deserved to win. They were better. They probably deserved to win last game, but you know what? We came back tonight and kept going. We had a couple power plays there in the third and that would’ve been a good opportunity. We won two at home, then we came in here and got a split, so we’re still going back in command, up 3-1. We won the last game and lost tonight in the last minute and we weren’t close to being on top of our game, so we’ve just got to regroup. Give them credit. They’re a good team, but we’ll be better.”
Q: Did it feel like an uphill battle for most of this game, Ryane?
Clowe: Yeah, we were chasing mostly. It felt good when we scored early in the third and I thought we might do it there. We had a couple power plays pretty close together and it was a good opportunity. The power play was there last game and the PK was here tonight, so we’ve got to try and get it together.
Q: How do you explain giving up the 3-0 lead in the first?
Clowe: It’s funny, because we have been so good on the walls and having composure … details early. They’re do-or-die right now, so it kind of went the opposite. Just little details on the goals. Didn’t have the coverage. Weren’t very good on the boards in our own end. They had a lot of momentum. We were chasing too much.
Q: Can you talk about the sustained pressure they put on Antti Niemi leading up to that last goal?
Clowe: They had a couple shifts there, where they had sustained pressure, but at that stage you’re breathing heavy and you’ve got to get the puck out. That’s just one of those things where you’re tired and you lose coverage. Obviously it was a wide-open cage.