The idea of the shootout is to make the shooters look good, to give fans great dekes and memorable goals.
But if you left Joe Louis Arena Monday night and couldn’t remember who scored the game-winning shootout marker for the San Jose Sharks (it was Logan Couture), it was because a shootout save stole the show.
Having already made 24 saves to seal his 24th career shutout, Sharks netminder Antti Niemi earned the win by making a ridiculous right leg save on shooter Todd Bertuzzi, who faked a shot and made a sweet move to his forehand. He had Niemi down and all but beat.
Then the desperate leg kick.
"He still tried to get it higher off the ice, so it's kinda instinct and reaction both," Niemi explained.
By making one extra save than counterpart Jimmy Howard, Niemi got the 1-0 win in a rare double-shutout game.
Niemi makes a ridiculous save on Bert. Sharks win 1-0.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 22, 2013
Antti Niemi with the rare "Oh my goodness, I can't believe that just happened" save in the shootout.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) October 22, 2013
Niemi talks about the save and the shutout:
Playing at the Joe never gets old. Love that building. Big 2 points. Off to boston.
— Logan Couture (@Logancouture) October 22, 2013