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Red Wings rally to stave off elimination

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Tomas Holmstrom broke a tie with 6:08 left, and the Detroit Red Wings scored three third-period goals to avoid elimination with a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 last night.

Danny Cleary and Jonathan Ericsson also scored in the final period as the Red Wings rallied from a 3-1 deficit early in the third period and sent the series back to Detroit for Game 6 tomorrow night.

"There's a lot of character on this team. There's not any quit," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves. "Our season was on the line there in the third period, and we found a way."

After winning the first three games, San Jose is clinging to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals.

Logan Couture scored 54 seconds into the third period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. Then the Red Wings, sparked by the playmaking of center Pavel Datsyuk (three assists) scored two quick goals before Holmstrom redirected the winner past Antti Niemi (18 saves).

Only three NHL teams have overcome 3-0 deficits to win a seven-game series: the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 Islanders.

"I think you put yourselves in a very dangerous position if you get back on your heels against that team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I didn't think we did that tonight. They just outplayed us in the third period."

-- AP

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