San Jose took a 2-0 lead after Jonathan Cheechoo's first-period goal and then Marcel Goce scored at 8:07 of the second.
But Tomas Holmstrom scored on the powerplay with just five seconds left in the second period to make it 2-1 and Robert Lang equalised with less than a minute left in regulation after the Wings had substituted netminder Dominik Hasek for an extra skater.
Hasek made 25 saves for the victory and a busy Nabokov faced 49 shots.
"We need some of our guys to wake up," Ron Wilson, the disappointed Sharks coach said. "You cannot take a week off in the second round of the playoffs."
Elsehwere the Ottawa Senators put one foot in the conference finals by taking advantage of two mistakes by the New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur to post a 3-2 home win and take a 3-1 lead in their eastern conference semi-final.