DETROIT — Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula scored less than two minutes apart in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings rallied again for a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, forcing a decisive seventh game after trailing 3-0 in the pulsating second-round series.
San Jose must defend home ice Thursday night to avoid becoming the fourth NHL team to lose a best-of-seven series after leading 3-0. San Jose's Logan Couture scored early in the third period, but Zetterberg tied it with 9:22 remaining, and Filppula scored the winner with 7:28 left.
Darren Helm added an empty-net goal. Every other game in the series was decided by one goal.
Detroit scored the last three goals of Game 5 to win 4-3.
The Red Wings are the second team this season to erase a 3-0 series hole. Chicago did it in the first round before losing Game 7 at Vancouver. Philadelphia came all the way back last year in the second round, winning the final four games against Boston.
Those recent successes make the task now seem much less daunting.
Skating with confidence and desperation, the Red Wings outshot San Jose 45-25, but they were on the verge of elimination after Couture batted a rebound out of midair and the puck trickled past goalie Jimmy Howard with 16:06 remaining. The puck barely crossed the goal line before Howard covered it with his glove, but the goal stood after a review.
Zetterberg tied it by deflecting a wrist shot by Niklas Kronwall past goalie Antti Niemi, and the Sharks never regained momentum. Filppula put Detroit ahead, converting a nice cross-ice pass by Pavel Datsyuk.
The Red Wings outplayed the Sharks from the start. At the midway point of the first period, Detroit had an 11-1 edge in shots, to the delight of the home crowd that had given the Red Wings a standing ovation when they took the ice.
Jiri Hudler had a good scoring chance from a severe angle with Niemi slightly out of position, but the Detroit forward was unable to score.
The Sharks managed a couple of early chances on counterattacks. Immediately after coming out of the penalty box, Dan Boyle found himself with space in the Detroit zone, but he fanned on a backhand attempt while bearing down on Howard.
Howard stopped Benn Ferriero on a breakaway later in the period – the San Jose right wing didn't have much time to control the puck before trying to slip it in.
The action was just as intense at the start of the second. Detroit's Drew Miller shot wide on a rebound with Niemi sprawled in front of the net. With 15:25 left in the period, the normally mild-mannered Datsyuk was involved in a brief scrap with San Jose's Torrey Mitchell.
Datsyuk was given two minor penalties to Mitchell's one, but it was the Red Wings who ended up with the best scoring chance to that point. Danny Cleary, who was serving one of the penalties, had a clean breakaway when he came out of the penalty box just as Detroit was clearing its zone. Cleary made a nice move around Niemi but hit the side of the net with the goalie down and out.
The Red Wings outshot San Jose 32-13 in the first two periods.
NOTES: San Jose F Ryane Clowe missed Game 6 because of an undisclosed upper body injury. Clowe leads San Jose with 13 points this postseason. ... The Red Wings were without RW Johan Franzen, who reinjured his left ankle in Game 5. Veteran forward Mike Modano rejoined the lineup after playing in only one other game this postseason. ... According to STATS LLC, four NHL teams have rallied from a 3-0 deficit but lost a seventh game.