The Detroit Red Wings survived a late two-goal comeback by Minnesota and the longest shootout in team history Thursday night, earning a 4-3 win over the Wild.
Drew Miller won the game for Detroit in the eighth round of the shootout, snapping a shot over Niklas Backstrom’s shoulder.
Miller had scored what seemed to be an insurance goal at 9:03 of the third period, deflecting a Derek Meech shot from the blue line past Backstrom to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead.
Minnesota battled back with a pair of goals one minute apart.
With 6:12 remaining in regulation, Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard got his toe on a Kyle Brodziak chance from in front. The puck then deflected off of Martin Havlat’s skate and trickled into the net.
The game was tied when Andrew Brunette gloved the puck out of mid-air, dropped it to his stick, and swatted it past Howard from the slot with 5:12 left.
All three of Minnesota’s goals came on fortunate bounces, as they got on the board with 7:26 left in the second when a Shane Hnidy shot went high, deflected off the glass behind the goal, then floated back out in front before hitting the chest of Robert Earl and dropping into the net.
The Red Wings had opened the scoring at 7:52 of the first when Todd Bertuzzi beat Wild goaltender Josh Harding.
Harding left the game with a lower body injury after the first period and Backstrom allowed his first goal against at 2:28 of the third when Patrick Eaves banged in a rebound chance after Darren Helm drove the net.
Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 30 Minnesota shots, stopping six of eight shootout attempts. Harding stopped ten of the 11 first-period shots he faced while Backstrom made 16 stops on 18 shots and went five-for-eight in the shootout.
Neither team scored a power play goal. Detroit had three chances with the extra attacker and Minnesota had one.