DETROIT (AP)—Red Wings goalie Manny Legace admits that he did not have to do much to record his 12th career shutout.
It was Legace’s sixth shutout of the season, which is second to Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff, who has eight.
“I just had to stand there, basically,” said Legace. “I made a couple of tough saves when it was 3-0 and 4-0. I really didn’t have to do much.”
That was because of the outstanding defensive performance by the Red Wings.
“I thought we got a good effort from everyone,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Particularly impressive was how the Red Wings contained the Sharks’ top line which features Joe Thornton and Jonatha Cheechoo. The pair was held to a combined three shots on goal.
“We knew we had to shut down Thornton and Cheechoo and just make sure to do that,” Williams said. “… And have the other lines help out offensively.”
Sharks’ goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves.
“We need a complete team effort in order to beat a team like Detroit, especially here and we didn’t get it,” said San Jose coach Ron Wilson. “We’ll just throw it away and move on to the next game.”
With the victory, Detroit moved closer to clinching the top spot in the Western Conference. The Red Wings have 102 points, seven more than idle Dallas.
The Sharks remained in 10th place in the conference. They are only one point behind Los Angeles and Edmonton.
Holmstrom opened the scoring 1:47 into the second period when he tipped Mathieu Schneider’s shot from the point past Nabokov. It was Holmstrom’s 24th goal.
Williams made it 2-0, with his 17th of the season, 1:18 into the third period when he converted a pass from Robert Lang in front of the net, after Lang had stolen the puck from Alyn McCauley.
“It was a bang-bang play,” said McCauley. “I thought it was going to the point. It hit a shin pad kind of in the middle. I think that we went and forced the pass from Lang. They’re talented players, they find those passes.”
Yzerman’s 10th goal came on a power-play 1:18 later, when he put in a loose puck from in front of the net with Christian Ehrhoff in the penalty box. Samuelsson added his 21st with 6:18 remaining.
The first period was scoreless as the Red Wings outshot the Sharks 11-9.
Samuelsson returned after missing nine games with a sore wrist. … Red Wings’ RW Dan Cleary missed the game with the flu. … San Jose LW Scott Thornton missed his fifth game with a rib injury. … Lidstrom leads all NHL defensemen with 71 points.