His goal 3:23 into overtime completed a comeback from a three-goal deficit and gave the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Datsyuk picked up a loose puck in his own zone and skated the length of the ice on a 2-on-1 with Nicklas Lidstrom and beat Blues goalie Jason Bacashihua with a wrist shot from the right circle.
“First I wanted to pass it to Nick, but it started rolling,” said Datsyuk, who scored his second goal in two games. So I changed my mind and I shot.”
Lidstrom had a goal and an assist, and Jason Williams and Dan Cleary also scored for Detroit. Robert Lang and Mathieu Schneider each added two assists. Dominik Hasek made 18 saves.
Petr Cajanek scored twice and Dallas Drake also had a goal for St. Louis, which lost its sixth straight. Bacashihua stopped 39 shots.
It was only Datsyuk’s fifth goal of the season. He is far off his pace of 2005-06, when he led the team in points with 87 (28 goals and 59 assists). He has five goals and 13 assists in 27 games this season.
His natural inclination is always to pass first, but he said recently that he wants to take more shots.
“I just closed my eyes again and shot, ” Datsyuk said. “And I heard the crowd.”
Bacashihua wasn’t happy with his own effort on the goal.
“A 2-on-1. I’ve got to save that,” he said. “It’s overtime, 2-on-1. It’s a routine 2-on-1. You see 20 of those in practice. It’s a good shot, but I’d like to have it back, especially how the guys played.”
Cleary tied it 3-3, 4:33 into the third period with a power-play goal when he put in the rebound of his own tip attempt.
Drake’s short-handed goal 42 seconds into the second period stretched the Blues’ lead to 3-0. His slap shot from the top of the left circle beat Hasek high on the glove side. It was Drake’s first goal of the season.
“We had a slow start,” said Williams. “We wanted to get on top of them and get in on their D and we didn’t do that … You find yourself behind the eight-ball.”
Detroit beat St. Louis 5-1 on Tuesday night in St. Louis and that gave Hasek hope.
“We scored five goals the last game against them,” he said. “So we believed we could score a few more this game.”
They had two before the middle period ended.
Lidstrom’s 5-on-3 power-play goal got Detroit on the board 1:48 into the second period as he ripped a one-time slap shot from the high slot. Williams then converted a spectacular play by Lang into goal with 9:11 left in the period.
Lang beat St. Louis defenceman Christian Backman by putting the puck through Backman’s legs in the high slot, made a move around another Blues’ player and passed to Williams as he was being hit. Williams, at the bottom of the left circle, took a one-time shot and it trickled through Bacashihua’s pads.
The Red Wings then outshot the Blues 19-7 in the third period.
“With the momentum, they just get better, better,” said Drake, the team’s captain. “They took it to us the last half of the game.
St. Louis led 2-0 after the first period on Cajanek’s two goals.
Note: Detroit was playing its first game without D Danny Markov, who is out for three weeks with a broken right hand. The Red Wings were also without D Niklas Kronwall for the third straight game because of a sore groin. … Detroit LW Johan Franzen missed his seventh game because of a concussion and knee injury. … Four of Cajanek’s six goals this season have come against the Red Wings. … Detroit D Brett Lebda staggered off the ice with fewer than five minutes left in the first period after absorbing a flying forearm to the jaw from Drake behind the Red Wings’ net. There was no penalty called. Lebda returned in the second period. … Williams broke his 18-game goal drought. … The Red Wings had two power-play goals in a game for the first time since Oct. 11.