Playing with an injured wrist, the Red Wings star continued his MVP performance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with three assists in Detroit's 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the San Jose Sharks. Datsyuk dangled before dishing to Niklas Kronwall(notes) for a second-period goal, picked up a helper on Jonathan Ericsson's(notes) third-period goal to cut the deficit to 3-2 and then schooled Patrick Marleau(notes) before helping to set up the game-winning tip by Tomas Holmstrom(notes) at 13:52 of the third:
Howard was the best Red Wing on the ice for the first 40 minutes of Game 5, stopping 18 of 20 shots before Detroit found its footing in the third. Howard has now stopped 118 of 125 shots in San Jose during the series.
Honorable mention: Danny Cleary(notes) had arguably the game's most critical goal, outworking the Sharks in their defensive zone and hammering home a rebound past Devin Setoguchi(notes) and Antti Niemi(notes) to tie the game, 3-3. … Kronwall had a goal, an assist and a couple of big hits. … Lidstrom's assist on the game-winner moved him to within one point of Bryan Trottier (184) for No. 10 all-time in playoff points; Steve Yzerman is ninth at 185. … Setoguchi scored his fifth of the playoffs for the Sharks. … Hell of a save by Niemi on Jonathan Ericsson here:
Did you know? Via the Red Wings, "for the fifth time in NHL history, the first five games of a series have been decided by one goal."
Dishonorable mention: Jeremy Roenick(notes) on VERSUS called Patrick Marleau "gutless" and it's hard to argue given his performance in the series. … The Sharks were 0-for-4 on the power play. … Niclas Walin was a minus-3. … Joe Thornton(notes) had an assist, but was a minus-1 and was cited for this dive in the first period.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Martin St. Louis(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Ryan Kesler(notes), Vancouver Canucks; 3. Patrice Bergeron(notes), Boston Bruins; 4. Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks; 5. Tim Thomas(notes), Boston Bruins; 6. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; 7. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks; 8. Pekka Rinne(notes), Nashville Predators; 9. Joel Ward(notes), Nashville Predators; 10. Sean Bergenheim(notes), Tampa Bay Lightning.