The Detroit Red Wings were feeling rather fortunate to have ended up with the win on Friday night.
Pavel Datsyuk scored at 3:39 of overtime to give Detroit a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, snapping the Red Wings’ three-game skid.
Datsyuk made a nice move to get past defender Jeff Petry and blasted a shot past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk.
”We didn’t have anything to lose in that third period,” Datsyuk said. ”We were on the road, we didn’t have any pressure, we just had to go play.
”Mule (Johan Franzen) made a perfect play getting the puck in the neutral zone and giving me a good pass. I was able to come in with some speed, which made it tough for the defenseman who was at the blue line.”
Petry was also a factor on the tying goal as he scored on his own net to tie the score at 2-2 on a goal credited to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall with 5:53 to go in regulation.
Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard had 30 saves.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he was glad to see his team rally late after a disappointing first 40 minutes.
”In the first two periods we weren’t very competitive,” he said. ”We weren’t getting any time in the offensive zone, we weren’t physical or competitive on the puck, we weren’t good enough. In the loss to Calgary the other night I thought we were really good and turned the puck over.
”Tonight I thought we were no good and then got playing in the third. I don’t think that’s the recipe for success. We need to play a full 60 minutes. But I thought our guys really dug in and got competitive at the end.”
Taylor Jall and Sam Gagner had the Oilers’ goals, and Dubnyk finished with 25 saves.
”It’s disappointing because we had the game under control,” Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said. ”We got pushed back by a very strong push by Detroit at the end and couldn’t create any offence when we needed it.”
On the tying goal, Petry was attempting to to clear a big rebound on Kronwall’s shot.
”It doesn’t feel good now, but I can’t hang my head,” Petry said. ”I was just coming back to the net. It came off his pad and it hit my stick and went in. We had a good start to the game. You don’t want to have it go away like that.”
Krueger felt for the third-year defenseman.
”It’s a tough one,” he said. ”He got beat in the overtime by one of the best players in the world on a world-class move. This is a game for him to grow and learn from.
”It’s a tough one for Jeff, but it is the team that takes responsibility for the turnaround, not an individual player.”
The Oilers started the scoring 3 1/2 minutes in as Hall found a seam to slip past two Detroit defenders up the middle and beat Howard with a low wrist shot.
Edmonton had 10 shots in the first period while the Red Wings were only able to direct five shots on Dubnyk.
The Oilers came close to adding to their lead one minute into the second period as Magnus Paajarvi sped past Detroit defender Brian Lashoff but Howard was able to make the pad save in tight.
Edmonton had another opportunity a few minutes later as Ales Hemsky picked up his own rebound off of the boards and hooked in front of the net, but a sprawling Howard was able to get a piece of it.
Detroit came close midway through the second on a power play but Datsyuk’s shot went off the post.
Edmonton took a 2-0 lead with 4 minutes to play in the second after some hard work by Hall allowed Nail Yakupov to swing out front and take a shot. The rebound was pounded in from the side of the net by Gagner for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Detroit finally got on the board 4 minutes into the third period as Filppula was allowed to skate out front and lifted a backhand shot past Dubnyk to make it 2-1.
Notes: The Oilers were playing at home for the first time in 20 days after enduring a team-record nine-game road trip. … F Mike Brown made his home debut for the Oilers after being acquired in a trade with Toronto during the lengthy trip. … The Red Wings swept the three-game series series, winning the previous meetings 3-0 and 2-1. The Wings won three of four games against the Oilers last season. … After five goals in his first eight games, Yakupov – the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, has just one in his last 19. … Howard made his return to the Detroit net after a bout of the flu that saw backup Jonas Gustavsson struggle in his place. … The Red Wings were without D Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Fs Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Mikael Samuelsson (finger).