Wings win on Datsyuk's OT goal with 2.2 seconds left

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

St. Louis — They made it exciting, maybe a little more than planned, but the Red Wings capped a long road trip Thursday with a big victory.

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 2.2 seconds left in overtime, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Datsyuk scored his 15th goal, snapping a shot from the hashmarks past goalie Brian Elliott.

"I heard all the bench yelling 'five seconds', so I just shoot as quick as possible," said Datsyuk, who had to wait until the referees confirmed the puck went into the net. "I saw the puck touch the side of the net. I was confused (about officials having to confirm)."

Looking at victory in regulation, the Red Wings allowed Alex Steen to score a tying goal with 47 seconds left, forcing overtime.

The Red Wings only had two shots on net after one period but had two goals by the end of the second period.

And that, along with the goaltending of Petr Mrazek, was enough for most of the evening.

Mrazek stopped 25 shots as he earned his second consecutive victory since replacing the injured Jimmy Howard.

"You're always happy when you win, and getting the two points (in St. Louis) we can be happy with that," Mrazek said. "It happens, that's hockey (about the tying goal). I was too much in the net. But in the end, we got the two points."

The victory ended a six-game road trip for the Red Wings, who wound up 4-2-0 on the trip, and they were 6-3-0 on a nine-game stretch in which eight of the games were on the road beginning right after the holiday break.

"That's a good stretch for our team," said coach Mike Babcock, who felt his team took over after the 10-minute mark of the second period. "We just won more races and battles (after the midway point). Early on they were quicker than us and as we settled down in the second period we were quicker."

The Red Wings (24-11-9, 57 points) return home to play Nashville (Saturday) and Buffalo (Sunday) this weekend, while ending a five-game winning streak for the Blues (27-13-4, 58 points).

Mrazek was at his best early while the Red Wings were bottled up.

"You have to give the kid credit, he made some big saves," Babcock said. "He was big and square and didn't over-challenge a ton, and he's good with the puck."

Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar scored a minute apart late in the second period to break a scoreless tie.

That offensive explosion for the Red Wings was brewing, who finally broke free after being held to two shots in the first period and three total at the midway point of the second period.

"We had three shots?" asked Datsyuk, smiling. "That was our plan. Patience, patience, patience."

Said Henrik Zetterberg: "There wasn't much either way (the Blues had 10 shots at that juncture). It was good defense. Both teams tried to keep the other outside. We had the puck, we just couldn't get to the net."

But the Red Wings gradually got going and the fourth line made it 1-0 as Andersson scored his first goal of the season at 18:04.

Drew Miller fired a shot at net, and Andersson, battling at the post, slid the puck past goalie Brian Elliott.

Tatar made it 2-0 one minute later.

Jonathan Ericsson's shot from the point landed in front of Elliott. Tatar got the defenseman on his back and backhanded the rebound past Elliott for hi

The Blues cut the lead to 2-1 with the Backes power-play goal at 3:58 of the third period.s team-leading 18th goal.

Backes, screening Mrazek in front, redirected a point shot by Jay Bouwmeester for his 16th goal.

An apparent Gustav Nyquist power-play goal midway in the third period was waved off because of goalie interference, setting up Steen's tying goal.