When he played for the University of Michigan, Steve Shields dreamed of becoming a Detroit Red Wing. Now he wants to beat them.
Shields, in his first season with the San Jose Sharks, stopped 26 shots Friday night for a 2-0 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The victory lifted the Sharks into a tie with St. Louis for sixth place in the Western Conference standings.
"I always wanted to play for the Red Wings when I was in school," Shields said after his first career win over Detroit. "They're big back there, and I consider that home, so it's kind of special to beat them."
"I didn't want to give them a sniff (at the goal), especially in the last minute when they had an extra attacker on the ice. Our defense made a big difference tonight. Early on, the Red Wings had some good shots, but then we pretty much shut them down until late in the third period."
San Jose assistant coach Paul Baxter felt it was probably Shields' best effort of the season.
"He was really good when he had to be. He didn't have a lot of opportunities to make quality saves, but he was up to the task every time he had to be."
The Sharks got goals from Patrick Marleau and Joe Murphy. It was the first time they have shut out Detroit in their eight-year NHL history, and it was only their sixth victory over the Red Wings in 31 regular-season games (6-23-2)
San Jose took a 1-0 lead at 12:36 of the first period when Marleau scored his 17th goal from between the circles. Owen Nolan set up the score, grabbing the puck from a knot of players behind the net and passing it out to Marleau.
Murphy added an insurance goal at 4:45 of the third period when he skated in from the blue line and scored from point-blank range. It was Murphy's 16th goal.
Detroit goaltender Norm Maracle stopped 32 shots as San Jose outshot the Red Wings 34-26.
It was only the fourth loss i37 games this season for the Red Wings when they have held their opponents to two or fewer goals. They are 30-4-3 in those games.
Detroit lost its third straight and is 1-3-0 since forward Sergei Fedorov was suspended for five games for slashing.
"(Losing Fedorov) was a big price to pay," Detroit coach Scotty Bowman said. "It seems to be catching up with us. We miss his offense because other teams have been shutting us down pretty well."
"Fedorov was playing really well before he got suspended. Now, we're not scoring."
San Jose won its second straight is 4-2-0 in its last six.
The beginning of the game was delayed by 15 minutes when the San Jose mascot S.J. Sharkie was left suspended from a rope about 50 feet above the ice. He was to have made an entrance by being lowered by rope from the roof of the arena. However, technical difficulties left him stranded in mid-air. Eventually, several arena employees manually pulled him back up to the roof.
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