Take your pick. The Red Wings' best player in Game 5?

Pavel Datsyuk or Jimmy Howard. Both were phenomenal in Game 5, lifting the Red Wings to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Howard made 39 saves and was the difference through the first two periods when the Wings failed to compete to an acceptable level.

"Howie got us to the third period," coach Mike Babcock said. "Our defense was good and our was goaltending was good, but we weren't competitive enough up front. Howie played real good and kept us in the game."

Howard nearly stole the a victory in Game 1 for the Wings, but the Sharks escaped in overtime.

Through five games, Howard has arguably been the Wings' best player.