Datsyuk Scores in OT to Lift Red Wings Over Blackhawks

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 1:52 left in overtime on Sunday night, capping a three-goal rally that lifted the Detroit Red Wings past the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2.

Datsyuk whiffed on his first chance from the side of the net with Chicago netminder Corey Crawford sprawled out, then took his time on the second shot and lifted a shot from the acute angle into the net, deflecting off of defenseman Nick Leddy on the way in.

The Blackhawks had scored twice in the first 4:19 of the game to take the early lead but the Red Wings scored three consecutive goals to pull out the win.

Dave Bolland opened the game’s scoring at 3:35 of the first period. With the Blackhawks on a power play, former Red Wing Marian Hossa‘s shot was blocked in the right faceoff circle and Bolland picked up the puck in the slot, flinging it towards Detroit goalie Ty Conklin. Conklin got a piece of it but it slid under his pad and barely crossed the goal line.

Patrick Sharp made it 2-0 just 44 seconds later when he picked up the puck at the top of the left circle, skated all alone into the top of the slot, and blew a shot past Conklin.

Valtteri Filppula got the Red Wings on the board with a power play goal with 6:31 remaining in the opening period, just after the expiration of a five-on-three. Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass from the right faceoff dot through the legs of defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Filppula on the far side of the crease for a quick wrister into the open side of the net.

At 7:53 of the third, the Blackhawks had a chance to go back up by two goals but Conklin stopped Jimmy Hayes on a penalty shot after Tomas Holmstrom covered the puck with his hand in the crease.

The Red Wings made that count with 4:45 left in regulation. On a flurry in front of the Chicago crease, Danny Cleary knocked home the rebound of a Zetterberg shot as Crawford was unable to cover the puck.

Crawford finished the night with 24 saves on 27 shots. Conklin stopped 29 of the 31 chances he faced.

Chicago scored on one of their five power play chances and missed on their penalty shot while Detroit scored on one of their two chances with the extra attacker.

The Red Wings will wrap up their four-game road trip on Tuesday when they visit the New York Islanders.

Detroit forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Darren Helm returned from groin injuries. Gustav Nyquist was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins and Chris Conner was a healthy scratch to make room for them in the lineup… Jakub Kindl was the healthy scratch on defense for the Wings.

Postgame: Red Wings @ Blackhawks – 1/8

I’ve got to say, I was surprised by a lot of things in the Red Wings’ win over the Blackhawks tonight.

Ty Conklin‘s performance was the biggest surprise for me. He’s had a relatively awful season and after giving up two goals in the first 4:19, it looked like more of the same was coming. He really pulled it together, though, finishing the night with 29 saves on 31 shots and stopping Jimmy Hayes on a penalty shot. His second-best start of the season, he earned his second win.

That penalty shot stop was just solid goaltending. Hayes didn’t make a good move but Conklin kept his head in it and stayed where he needed to be. Would have been easy for Conklin to be jumpy there and he wasn’t.

I said at the time that I can’t believe the Wings’ second goal wasn’t called back for intent to blow. Not because I think the puck was actually frozen (replay showed it trickle through Corey Crawford‘s pads, and we saw the same thing happen to Jimmy Howard recently), just because of how often that goes against Detroit.

I do think the Wings got away with too many men on the ice in overtime, not going to lie about that one. I would have complained about it had it been Chicago getting away with it. They had already done it once in the game and it was lazy the second time. The cop-out is to say that the refs had pretty much put the whistles away by that point but I don’t like relying on it. Just a lucky break.

The game winning goal was a hell of a shot at a non-existent angle by Pavel Datsyuk, helped by a deflection off of Nick Leddy. Chicago wasn’t happy with the scramble in front of the net but I didn’t see contact with Crawford.

That’s two games in a row the Wings had to rally, which isn’t good. That they did rally both times is nice but it only worked once. They can’t keep digging themselves holes like that.

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