Anaheim, Calif. — Approximately five poor minutes in the third period might have cost the Red Wings a victory and another valuable point in the standings.
They had Monday's game in control, then watched as the Anaheim Ducks scored three times in 3 minutes, 40 seconds and took the lead, only to tie the score and then lose it in the shootout, 4-3 (the Ducks won the shootout 2-1).
The Red Wings saw a 2-0 lead on two Pavel Datsyuk goals disappear as the Ducks exploded in short order.
"We started to back up and play a safe game and it cost us," Datsyuk said. "We tried to come back, and we tied the game, but we needed to keep playing like we did the first two periods."
Riley Sheahan tied it at 3 with his 10th goal at 16:09 of the third period, one-timing a pass from Gustav Nyquist past Ducks goalie John Gibson to force overtime.
The Red Wings had a 5-1 shots advantage in overtime but neither team could convert.
Then in the shootout, the Ducks' Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg scored against Jimmy Howard, while Nyquist was the lone goal scorer against Gibson.
"We played real well, we controlled the game," coach Mike Babcock said. "The puck found a way to to get into the net a couple of times. I didn't like it (pucks going in) but our played team good and played hard."
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin broke the 2-2 tie at 12:57, giving the Ducks a 3-2 lead.
Beauchemin got the puck near the hashmarks and beat Howard through a screen for his seventh goal.
Ducks forwards Andrew Cogliano and Emerson Etem scored 2:10 apart for Anaheim — Cogliano at 9:17, his 10th, and Etem's third at 11:27 — both converting rebounds past Howard, who stopped 22 of 25 shots.
"The puck went in a couple of times it shouldn't have," Babcock said. "They're going to play and push too, but they can't go in."
Howard didn't talk after the game but his teammates felt they could have done more.
"We got on our heels a little bit," Niklas Kronwall said. "We have to be able to keep our composure a little bit more than that. We played a pretty good game for about 40, 45, 50 minutes.
"We just have to take care of the puck a little bit better than we did."
The Red Wings (33-14-11, 77 points) continue this West Coast trip Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Datsyuk scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season in the second period, giving the Red Wings the lead and seemingly control of the game.
Henrik Zetterberg didn't play Monday and isn't likely to play in Los Angeles after getting punched in the head Saturday in Dallas.
But offensively the Red Wings overcame Zetterberg's loss somewhat with Datsyuk's red-hot scoring. In his last 10 games, Datsyuk has 14 points (six goals, eight assists).
"That's a real good line," Babcock said of the Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Tomas Tatar line. "Helmer gives them electric speed and tenacity and leads to turnovers, and obviously Pavel is Pavel. It's a real dominant line."
Datsyuk opened the scoring with slick snapshot at 3:54 of the second period.
Datsyuk and Darren Helm helped create a turnover deep in the Ducks zone, Datsyuk gathered the puck, and he patiently picked a corner on Gibson.
Shortly after, Datsyuk made it 2-0.
With the Red Wings on the power play, Justin Abdelkader fed Datsyuk alone in front of Gibson.
Datsyuk took the puck to his backhand and slid a shot wide of Gibson for his 21st goal.