Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek stopped both shots he faced and the Red Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Gustav Nyquist as they earned a 5-4 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
The tiebreaker was necessary after Minnesota scored three times in the third period to erase Detroit’s 4-1 lead entering the final frame.
Zach Parise’s power play goal at 6:01 of the third period gave the Wild life. Jason Pominville sent the rebound of a Thomas Vanek chance to Parise all alone in the slot for a shot into the open side of the net to make it 4-2.
Vanek would add one of his own one second past the period’s midway point, driving through the slot to lift a backhander past Mrazek, pulling Minnesota to within a goal.
Parise struck again with 6:39 left to tie things up. Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson waited for several seconds to set up a play behind the net and then promptly turned it over to Parise all alone in front of Mrazek. As Ericsson dove to try to get in the way, Mrazek stopped the first chance but Parise knocked in his own rebound.
Parise would end up being Minnesota’s first shooter in the shootout but fired high. Datsyuk lifted a backhander past goalie Darcy Kuemper to score on his chance before Mrazek stopped Mikko Koivu and Nyquist slid a shot between Kuemper’s pads for the win.
Teemu Pulkkinen’s first career NHL goal opened the game’s scoring at 9:09 of the first period. On a three-on-two, Stephen Weiss fed Pulkkinen for a one-timer from the slot that he blew past Minnesota starter Devan Dubnyk.
Koivu snapped a shot from the left faceoff circle past Mrazek with 6:38 left in the first – just seven seconds into a power play – to tie things back up.
Ericsson restored the Detroit lead 1:08 later with a blast from the point through a screen by Justin Abdelkader.
Nyquist tipped a Niklas Kronwall shot past Dubnyk for a power play goal to make it 3-1 at 3:41 of the second period.
Xavier Ouellet made it 4-1 at 7:25, stepping up into the high slot for a shot that deflected off Justin Fontaine and past Dubnyk, ending the netminder’s night.
Mrazek finished the night with 34 saves on 38 shots. Dubnyk stopped six of ten chances while Kuemper was a perfect 14-for-14 until the shootout.
Detroit scored on one of their two power play chances while Minnesota went two-for-five with the man-advantage.
The Red Wings are now off until next Tuesday for the All-Star break.
After the game, Pulkkinen was returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins so he can take part in the AHL All-Star Game. Ouellet, who was also selected as an AHL All-Star, will remain in Detroit to rest a sore wrist.