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Lidstrom's Red Wings in Familiar Position with Sharks

It's not very often in the past 20 years we've seen the Detroit Red Wings have as much trouble with a playoff opponent, as they are right now with the San Jose Sharks. The past two seasons have indicated that for whatever reason, the Sharks give the Red Wings all sorts of problems, and unless Nicklas Lidstrom can help lead his team to some solutions, this could be another quick San Jose victory over Detroit.

The San Jose Sharks swept the Red Wings in the second round of the NHL Playoffs in 2010 and right now, they are on their way to doing so for the second time in two years. I don't think anyone predicted a repeat of last year's series, but the Red Wings have some glaring issues right now that need to be addressed, they can start addressing them tonight at home in a crucial Game 3 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Start in goal, with Jimmy Howard, who hasn't been terrible in this series - but the weak goal continues to haunt him. Will that change tonight? Let's hope for the Red Wings sake that it does. Offensively, the Red Wings should be able to create more chances tonight on home ice as they'll be able to dictate the matchup game with last change. Henrik Zetterberg has two games under his belt in the 2011 NHL Playoffs and has looked dangerous at times, but nowhere near the Zetterberg that can take over a game and a series, he'll need to get back to that level to help his team have a chance at winning 4 of the next 5 against the Sharks.

The Red Wings powerplay has traditionally been dangerous and come through at key times for them in playoffs past, it'll need to do the same now as they are getting more than ample opportunity in this series to make a difference with the man advantage.

This should be another tight, one goal game between these two clubs tonight. This series is far from over and the Red Wings should take this one at home, there is too much character in that room for the Red Wings to go down 3 games to none in back to back years against any team. If Jimmy Howard can limit the mistakes, the Red Wings are in good shape to get back in this series.

There are a few players that need to make an impact in this series, Johan Franzen has been quiet so far, the same can be said for Valtteri Filppula. On the Sharks sides of things, Patrick Marleau could use a spark, it's been Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture leading the way, with the help of key goals from the blueline.

Antti Niemi's life could get a little more difficult tonight in Detroit, the Red Wings have scored only two goals in this series, which is a testament to the defensive play of the Sharks, but the Red Wings are too deep offensively to have this continue, expect more traffic around Niemi especially within the first ten minutes, where the Sharks will likely need to weather an early storm in Game 3.

You're never in trouble in a series until you lose on home ice, we'll find out if the Red Wings are in trouble tonight.

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