Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood made his first appearance in net since a December 15 loss in Colorado, stopping 33 shots and two shootout attempts to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Osgood had been struggling before a groin injury kept him out for over two weeks, posting a 3.19 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage in sharp contrast to his 12-2-4 record.
“I want to win, that’s all,” Osgood said. “It’s a fresh start to the year, a new chance to have a real good second half, and that’s what matters most to me. The most important thing for me is I feel real good for the first time all year, so that’s good.”
Pavel Datsyuk scored a highlight-reel goal in the shootout, faking out Wild netminder Josh Harding before putting the puck into the top of the net. Combined with Osgood’s stops on Krys Kolanos and Mikko Koivu and a missed chance by Brent Burns it gave the Red Wings the win.
Detroit scored first with 3:43 remaining in the opening period. Henrik Zetterberg took the puck behind the net during a Detroit line change and four Wild players followed him, leaving Mikael Samuelsson wide open as he jumped off the bench and into the play for a one-timer into the back of the net.
The Red Wings carried that lead into the third period but lost it quickly as the Wild scored twice in the first minute of the final frame.
Just 35 seconds into the period, Owen Nolan put a backhander past Osgood from in front of the net, scoring on the rebound of a Brent Burns chance from the blue line just after a five-on-three for Minnesota expired.
Sixteen seconds later, Antii Miettinen capitalized on a turn over by Niklas Kronwall and snapped a shot past Osgood to put the Wild in front.
Detroit tied the game on a disputed power play goal with 4:37 remaining. Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot off the glass behind the goal and as it bounced back out front, Johan Franzen swatted it out of the air and into the net. Initially ruled to have been played with a high stick, video replay overturned the call and made it a goal.
The Red Wings will be back on the ice on Tuesday when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Harding stopped 35 of 37 shots against and made a save on Henrik Zetterberg in the shootout… Brett Lebda was a healthy scratch in favor of Derek Meech, who got his first playing time on defense since November 11… The Red Wings’ first power play of the game came with 8:12 remaining in the third period.