CHICAGO – The Detroit Red Wings stormed back from an early deficit for the second time in two nights. This time, the Red Wings pulled out a hard-fought win instead of taking a hard-luck loss.
Pavel Datsyuk banked in a shot from a bad angle off Chicago defenceman Nick Leddy for the winning goal 3:08 into overtime, and the Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night.
After Corey Crawford made point-blank saves on Jonathan Ericsson and Johan Franzen, Datsyuk got to the loose puck along the goal line to the goalie’s left. He whiffed once and then snapped a rising shot that hit Leddy and bounded into the open upper portion of the net as Crawford was down in the crease.
Detroit’s Dan Cleary scored with 4:45 left in regulation to tie it at 2 after Henrik Zetterberg fired a loose puck into traffic in front.
Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, who fell behind 2-0 early in the first when Dave Bolland and Patrick Sharp scored 44 seconds apart.
“We showed a lot of character,” said Detroit backup Ty Conklin, who made 29 saves. “It could have been easy to quit, I guess, or not pull it out like we did.
“We worked ourselves back into last night’s game, too. This was a good win.”
The Red Wings were coming off a 4-3 loss in Toronto on Saturday. Detroit rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie it, but lost after Joffrey Lupul scored late following a Red Wings turnover.
“The way we had to play (Saturday) night, I didn’t think we’d have much energy (Sunday)—and we sure didn’t early,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “Our guys stayed with it and dug in. This is a big win for us.”
Conklin was sharp in his sixth start of the season and first win since beating Colorado 3-0 on Oct. 8.
He stopped a penalty shot by Chicago rookie Jimmy Hayes, playing in his fifth NHL game, at 7:53 of the third. It was awarded after Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom covered a loose puck in the crease as it slid toward the goal line from a scrum.
Detroit’s comeback sent Chicago to a season-high fourth straight loss. Crawford made 24 saves for the Blackhawks, who lost for the fifth time in six games following a 9-1-1 run.
“It’s been a tough stretch for us the last couple games,” Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said. “We played better. We were more deserving of two points, we just didn’t find a way to close it out.
“It’s tough to protect a one-goal lead for as long as we did. You’ve just got to be smart and try to limit mistakes against that team. They found a way.”
Sharp, who scored his 20th goal, sustained an undisclosed upper body injury late in the first period and didn’t return.
“We’re going to have some tests with him, know more (Monday),” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Central Division and Original Six rivals met for the second time in nine days. The Blackhawks beat Detroit 3-2 on Dec. 30 in Chicago.
After Marian Hossa’s drive from the point hit traffic and landed in the slot, Bolland fired the loose puck and got it to trickle in under Conklin’s right pad. Sharp made it 2-0 at 4:19 when the puck popped out to him in the left circle from a scrum behind the net, and he turned and fired.
Filppula’s power-play goal with 6:31 left in the first cut it to 2-1, three seconds after a two-man Detroit advantage became a 5-on-4. He ripped a shot into the open net from the left edge of the crease after taking a pinpoint cross-ice feed from Zetterberg.
NOTES: Blackhawks D Sean O’Donnell played in his 1,200th NHL game. … Chicago D Steve Montador returned after missing three games because of an upper body injury. The Blackhawks returned rookie D Dylan Olsen to Rockford of the AHL. … Chicago LW Daniel Carcillo sat out the third game of a seven-game suspension for a hit on Edmonton D Tom Gilbert on Monday. Carcillo injured a knee on the play and might be out longer than the suspension. … Detroit C Darren Helm returned after missing four games with a lower body injury. Holmstrom came back following a five-game absence because of a groin injury.