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SHARKS AVOID HISTORIC COLLAPSE

Times wires

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Patrick Marleau's first point of the series came on a goal with 7:47 left, helping the Sharks beat the Red Wings 3-2 in Thursday's Game 7 of the West semifinals.

San Jose avoided becoming the fourth team to lose a series after leading 3-0. Instead, it heads to Vancouver on Sunday for Game 1 of the West final.

"It was a great story for them," said San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle, who had two assists. "We just had to stay focused.

"It was a hard-fought series all the way."

Indeed, the series is the first with six one-goal games. The only game that wasn't, Game 6, ended with a Detroit empty-net goal.

The Red Wings fell behind 2-0 in the first before outshooting the Sharks 17-6 in the second. But they lost two more forwards. Johan Franzen sat with an ankle injury. Todd Bertuzzi sustained an upper-body injury in the first, and Dan Cleary appeared to hit his head on the ice after colliding with teammate Jiri Hudler.

Henrik Zetterberg cut it to 2-1 on three-on-two rush with 6:50 left in the second. But Marleau, who was called "gutless" by former teammate and current Versus analyst Jeremy Roenick after Game 5, gave the Sharks breathing room when he poked in a rebound of Devin Setoguchi's shot.

Sharks 2 0 1 3 Red Wings 0 1 1 2

First Period-1, San Jose, Setoguchi 6 (Thornton, Boyle), 12:20 (pp). 2, San Jose, Couture 6, 19:01. Penalties-Ericsson, Det (holding), 11:08; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 12:30; Vlasic, SJ (tripping), 15:17.

Second Period-3, Detroit, Zetterberg 3 (V.Filppula), 13:10. Penalties-Datsyuk, Det (interference), 10:45.

Third Period-4, San Jose, Marleau 3 (Setoguchi, Boyle), 12:13. 5, Detroit, Datsyuk 4 (Stuart, Ericsson), 13:59. Penalties-San Jose bench, served by Clowe (too many men), 7:33; Kronwall, Det (slashing), 8:47; Mitchell, SJ (slashing), 14:57. Shots on Goal-Detroit 11-17-12-40. San Jose 17-6-7-30. Power-play opportunities-Detroit 0 of 4; San Jose 1 of 3. Goalies-Detroit, Howard 7-4-0 (30 shots-27 saves). San Jose, Niemi 7-5-0 (40-38). A-17,562 (17,562).

Flyers: Defenseman Chris Pronger, who missed most of the postseason, had surgery for a herniated disc on his spinal cord. The team said the surgery "went very well," and Pronger should be ready for next season.

Broadcaster fired: Damian Goddard, a host for Canada's Rogers Sportsnet, was fired after tweeting about the debate surrounding Rangers wing Sean Avery's support of same-sex marriage. Avery stated his support as part of the New Yorkers for Marriage Equality campaign. Tuesday, Goddard tweeted his support for hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who had tweeted his opposition to Avery, saying: "I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage." Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford said, "Mr. Goddard was a freelance contractor, and in recent weeks, it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization."

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