DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings got by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs last year.
They got knocked out by the San Jose Sharks in five games.
The Wings get a shot a redemption this year.
The Vancouver Canucks eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Chicago Blackhawks, early Wednesday morning, 2-1 in overtime,
The Canucks’ win sets up a Wings vs. Sharks Western Conference semifinal series.
Games 1 and 2 are the HP Pavilion in San Jose.
The Wings were forced to play the Sharks last season on little to no rest after going seven games with the Coyotes last year to advance to the next round.
The Sharks won the season series with Detroit, 3-1. The Wings won the first meeting, 5-3, and then dropped the next three straight, 5-2, 4-3 and 3-1.
San Jose finished one point ahead of the Wings during the regular season to earn the second seed.
The Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings in six games in the opening round, winning three of their four games in overtime.
“They’ve got good talent up front, some guys with good speed and guys that can put the puck in the net,” Wings defenseman Brad Stuart said. “They’re a fast team, play a fast game, similar to what we try to do.”
All four of San Jose’s wins in last year’s meeting were by one goal. The Wings beat the Sharks in Game 4 to avoid a sweep, 7-1.
The Wings won the season series from the Sharks 3-0-1 last season.
“We’ll be fresh and ready,” Wings forward Jiri Hudler said.