Pavel Datsyuk stole a bad pass from Ryane Clowe and turned it into the first of three goals for Detroit in the second period and the Red Wings went on to beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 Saturday night.

Patrick Eaves and Dan Cleary also scored in the second period for the Red Wings, who have won four of five games to move to the edge of playoff position in the Western Conference.

Jimmy Howard made 31 saves for Detroit, and Darren Helm added a goal in the third period after yet another San Jose turnover. The Red Wings have won both games since losing leading goal-scorer Tomas Holmstrom to a broken foot in practice Wednesday.

Patrick Marleau scored his NHL-leading 29th goal in the first period for the Sharks, who have lost two of three following an eight-game winning streak. San Jose allowed 10 goals in the two losses, including six to Los Angeles on Monday.

San Jose appeared to be in good position after Marleau's goal off the rebound of a shot by Dan Boyle. The Sharks were 17-1-3 when they scored first. But the Red Wings took control in the second, taking advantage of poor play by the turnover-prone Sharks.

It started when Clowe made a bad pass as he skated across the Detroit blue line. Datsyuk came up with the turnover and skated in alone the other way before beating Evgeni Nabokov with a wrist shot from the circle to tie the game early in the second.

That marked the second time that a Sharks turnover at the Red Wings blue had led to a Detroit breakaway. Nabokov stopped Cleary in the first period but couldn't do the same to Datsyuk.

The Red Wings took the lead when Eaves deflected Doug Janik's shot from the point past Nabokov for his fifth goal of the season. Nabokov immediately pleaded with the referees that Eaves deflected the puck with a high stick but the call was upheld on replay, giving Detroit the 2-1 lead with 5:07 left in the period.

Just 69 seconds later, Cleary got his goal when he patiently waited for Kent Huskins to slide by after dropping in an attempt to block the shot before beating Nabokov with a wrister. It was Cleary's second goal in two games since missing 12 contests with a shoulder injury.

Helm's goal early in the third ended any comeback hopes for San Jose. He intercepted a clearing attempt by Boyle and skated in to beat Nabokov for his fifth goal in five games.

NOTES: Sharks F John McCarthy, a seventh-round pick out of Boston University in 2006, made his NHL debut. ... With 37 games to go, Marleau is nine goals shy of his career high of 38 set last season. ... Detroit D Nicklas Lidstrom has gone 41 straight games without a goal, seven shy of the longest drought in his career.