The Detroit Red Wings were feeling rather fortunate to have ended up in the win column on Friday.
Pavel Datsyuk scored in overtime as the Red Wings snapped a three-game losing skid with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Datsyuk scored 3:39 into the extra session as he made a nice move to get past defender Jeff Petry and blasted a shot past 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 defenceman 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 game 2-2 in the third on a goal credited to Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall.
Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, who improved to 13-10-5.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he was glad to see his team rally late in the contest 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 Hall and Sam Gagner replied for the Oilers (10-11-6), who entered the game having won two in a row.
“It’s disappointing because we had the game under control,” said Oilers coach Ralph Krueger. “We got pushed back by a very strong push by Detroit at the end and couldn’t create any offence when we needed it.”
The Red Wings got their gift goal to tie the game with six minutes to play as Petry put the puck into his own net in an attempt to clear a big rebound on a Kronwall shot, eventually sending the game to overtime.
“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 defenceman.
“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 three-and-a-half minutes in as Hall found a seam to slip past two Detroit defenders up the middle and beat goalie Jimmy Howard with a low wrist shot.
Edmonton had 10 first period shots 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 displayed a burst of speed to get past Detroit defender Brian Lashoff but Howard was able to make the pad save in tight.
The home team had another glorious 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 somehow a sprawling Howard was able to get a piece of it.
Detroit came close as well midway through the second on a power play but Datsyuk rang his shot off of the post.
Edmonton took a 2-0 lead with four 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.
The shots favoured Edmonton 26-14 after 40 minutes.
Detroit finally got on the board four minutes into the third period as Filppula was allowed to walk out front and lifted a backhand shot past Dubnyk to make it 2-1.
The Red Wings wrap up a three-game trip in Vancouver on Saturday night. The Oilers play the second game of a four-game homestand on Sunday against Nashville.
Notes: It was the Oilers first game at home in 20 days after enduring a team-record nine-game road trip ... Forward Mike Brown made his home debut for the Oilers after being acquired in a trade with Toronto during the lengthy trip ... It was the final of three games between the two teams this season. The Red Wings won both previous meetings, 3-0 and 2-1. The Wings won three of four games against the Oilers last season, with Drew Miller collecting the winning goal in all three victories ... After five goals in his first eight games, 2012 first overall draft pick Nail Yakupov 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 defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and forwards Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Mikael Samuelsson (finger) ... Edmonton forward Eric Belanger is on injured reserve with a groin problem but has been skating with the team.