DETROIT -- The public address announcer didn't have a chance.
There he was, trying to tell the well-under-capacity crowd at Joe Louis Arena that Henrik Zetterberg had scored the fourth Red Wings goal at 8:12 of the third period when Kirk Maltby scored the fifth Red Wings goal just 22 seconds later, and the roar of the crowd drowned out any efforts to communicate.
By that point, the Sharks knew they didn't have a chance either.
"I thought OK, maybe we didn't have our legs with the three-day layover," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said after Friday night's humbling 5-1 loss to Detroit (8-2-0-1, NHL-leading 17 points). "I still thought we had half an opportunity going into the third period. Then some great giveaways started the period off. When it was 3-0, 4-0 you knew it wasn't our night, period."
The embarrassment -- and that's what more than one Shark called it afterward -- went beyond the final score. San Jose's (5-4-0-1) 11 shots for the entire game were one fewer than any previous Sharks team had registered on the road.
This wasn't a case where the Sharks started out flat and never could recover. No, this time the Sharks came out trying to play a physical game -- and everything backfired.
"Everybody always says if you want to get into the game, just hit somebody. And that's what I was trying to do," said Sharks center Joe Thornton, who ended up with three hits and one shot on the night.
"Obviously they've got a really skilled team and they just gave it to us tonight," he added.
Eventually, the Red Wings' usual offensive stars would get their points. But at the start, it was a different cast that did the damage.
The Red Wings scored on their first shot of the game at 1:24 and it was center Valtteri Filppula who lifted a backhand shot over Nabokov's outstretched glove. Detroit had been counting on improved production this season from the sophomore center, but he hadn't scored until he took a perfect pass that victimized the Sharks defense.
Another Red Wing, defenseman Andreas Lilja, also got his first goal of the season in the first period. This time it was Filppula delivering the puck to Lilja, who found a seam in the Sharks zone and snapped off a 49-foot wrist shot that eluded Nabokov at 15:31.
It stayed 2-0 through the second period, mostly because of stellar play by Nabokov, who faced 22 shots in the first two periods.
Thirty-nine seconds into the third period, the rout was on. A giveaway led to a goal by Tomas Holmstrom after the puck caromed off a Shark skate and landed on his stick. When Zetterberg scored at 8:12, Wilson pulled Nabokov. But backup Dimitri Patzold didn't fare any better, giving up Maltby's goal on the second shot he faced.
ELSEWHERE --Ryan Smyth scored 23 seconds into overtime to give Colorado a 3-2 victory over host Calgary. ... Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo extended his winning streak against Washington to 10 games by making 27 saves and Taylor Pyatt scored twice, leading the visiting Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the Capitals. ... Tomas Plekanec had two goals and two assists to help Montreal beat host Carolina 7-4. ... Drew Stafford's fluke goal with 8:48 left in the third period snapped a tie and helped visting Buffalo break a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over Florida.