Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman wasn't shy Wednesday praising the Red Wings, who have tied their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal with the Sharks 3-3 after trailing 3-0.
"Knowing the coaching staff, the entire organization and the players, I'm very happy for them," said Yzerman, who was with Detroit for 27 years as a player and vice president. "They've competed hard. Every time someone wants to write them off as 'It's the end of an era' or 'They're too old,' they just come back stronger than ever."
Game 7 is tonight in San Jose. The series is the third this season to go to Game 7 after one team trailed by at least two games. One was the Lightning's first-round win over the Penguins, a series in which Tampa Bay trailed 3-1.
"Every game is so close," Yzerman said. "So I think that teams, when they get behind, as long as they're not discouraged and make any adjustments they see fit, there's always hope."
Sharks captain Joe Thornton told NHL.com his team is "confident. Very confident. Extremely confident."
The Sharks will have to get better play out of some of their top players, including Thornton, who is minus-3 in the past three games. Patrick Marleau, who led the team in scoring in the regular season, has no points in the series, and Dany Heatley has one goal. The vaunted power play unit is 0-for-10 the past three games.
"There's a lot of pride in this room," said forward Devin Setoguchi, who had a hat trick in Game 3, including the overtime winner. "I know a lot of guys will take it upon themselves to maybe step up their game, which will trigger other guys to follow."
COYOTES: After hours of testimony and discussion, the Glendale, Ariz., City Council voted 5-2 late Tuesday to give the league $25 million for arena operating costs for next season. That ensures the financially troubled franchise, a constant subject of relocation rumors, will play at city-owned Jobing.com Arena for another season. Now the league, which bought the Coyotes out of bankruptcy in 2009, must either figure out a way to revive the stalled purchase of the team by Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer or find a new buyer.
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.