A rare turnover by Pavel Datsyuk led to a breakaway by Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who scored on the chance 45 seconds into overtime, giving the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 win over the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
Datsyuk made a series of moves to gain the Minnesota zone but lost the puck on an attempted pass. Bouchard broke in all alone on goaltender Chris Osgood, faking to his left before putting a shot over the abandoned Detroit goalie.
All of the game’s previous goals had been scored in a third period that saw both teams lead.
Mikko Koivu put the Wild on the board 3:25 into the period, scoring a shorthanded goal off a 2-on-1 with Pascal Dupuis.
Just 16 seconds after the period’s midway point, Tomas Holmstrom scored his first goal in twenty games to tie it for the Red Wings, tipping the puck past Minnesota netminder Manny Fernandez from the top of the crease.
Kris Draper put Detroit out in front with 3:43 remaining in regulation, banging home a rebound.
Mark Parrish tied things back up just 16 seconds later, deflecting a high shot by Keith Carney over Osgood’s shoulder.
Osgood, making his first start since breaking his hand during a November 3 practice, made 32 saves on 35 shots against. Fernandez stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced.
The two teams will meet again next Wednesday when they complete their home-and-home-and-home series in Detroit.