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Red Wings beat Stars in wild overtime battle

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Dallas — There haven't been very many crazy games like this for the Red Wings this season.

But they enjoyed it, at least the victory certainly, after Niklas Kronwall won it 36 seconds into overtime, beating goalie Kari Lehtonen with a backhand for a 7-6 Red Wings victory.

Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and two assists leading the offensive attack, including tying the game at 18:12 of regulation time.

The Red Wings twice overcame two-goal deficits and the loss of Henrik Zetterberg, who was punched in the head in the first period and left the game after two periods.

Zetterberg's status for Monday's game in Anaheim is unknown.

As for the game, not an artistic beauty but the Red Wings (33-14-10, 76 points) will take the two points.

"For the fans, it was probably a lot of fun to watch," Kronwall said. "But for the players and coaches, it wasn't a lot of pretty things out there. We didn't do many good things. We have to be better than that."

Coach Mike Babcock was wondering whether he was at some 1980s retro night party.

"It was the Edmonton Oilers playing the Winnipeg Jets in the 1980s for crying out loud, in a race to seven," Babcock said. "Datsyuk was the star and it was great to see Kuba (Jakub Kindl, with two goals) come back and do what he did.

"We weren't very good in a lot of ways systemtically and structure, the way we played, but we found a way to win the game and we need the points."

Datsyuk tied it 6-6 after goalie Jonas Gustavsson had been pulled for an extra attacker.

Datsyuk scored his second goal of the game and 19th of the season on a mad scramble in front Lehtonen.

"We didn't play very good, but we're happy we won," Datsyuk said. "We didn't play great, they played better, but we were lucky to win."

The Red Wings rallied from a 6-4 deficit in the third period.

Curtis McKenzie deflected a shot past Jimmy Howard at 4:29 of the third period, breaking a 4-4 tie and erasing Kindl's heroics.

Kindl scored twice in a 45-second span early in the third period, tying the game 4-4.

When was the last time Kindl scored twice in a game?

"Probably back in junior I would say, in the OHL. It's been a while," Kindl said. "We just said to each other on the bench they scored a couple of quick goals and we can do the same thing."

Shawn Horcoff's power-play goal gave the Stars a 6-4 lead at 10:37, and sent Jimmy Howard to the bench in favor of Gustavsson, who made his first appearance since Nov. 5.

Howard allowed six goals on 32 shots but didn't have much help in front of him defensively.

But Justin Abdelkader cut the Dallas lead to 6-5 when he scored on the power play at 12:47, deflecting Kronwall's shot for his 13th goal.

"We found a way to fight back and get some goals there in the end," Abdelkader said.

Trevor Daley, Cody Eakin and Erik Cole scored for the Stars in a three-minute span late in the second period, giving Dallas a 4-2 lead.

Gustav Nyquist opened the scoring for the Red Wings, who head to Southern California to face Anaheim (Monday) and Los Angeles (Tuesday) next during this five-game road trip.