Tatar's OT goal rescues Red Wings
Kanata, Ontario — Funny what actually shooting some pucks on net can do for an offensively struggling hockey team.
The Red Wings, who hadn't been shooting the puck very often or well lately, earned a 4-3 overtime victory over Ottawa Monday at Canadian Tire Centre.
Tomas Tatar scored at 2:04 of overtime, salvaging a victory after the Red Wings had given away a two-goal, third-period lead.
The Red Wings had 37 shots on net, creating much more offense than they had in recent games.
"We had many chances, we just have to find a way to put pucks on the goal and get some easy rebounds," Tatar said. "We were happy with the result and getting the two points.
"We were looking pretty good the first two periods, then we stepped back and tried to defend the score. It should be easier than (that). We can't let them come back and almost lose two points."
Dylan Larkin, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan had the other Red Wings goals.
Mike Hoffman (power play), Chris Wideman and Bobby Ryan scored for Ottawa, who was limited to 25 shots by the Red Wings.
Ryan tied the score at 3 at 17:12 of the third period.
Just after the Senators had killed a penalty Ryan beat Luke Glendening to the puck, went to the net, and slipped the puck past goaltender Jimmy Howard for his seventh goal.
"Sometimes you have to dig deep," Howard said. "Just because they tied it, you didn't see guys hang their heads on the bench. We stuck to it and it was good to see Tats bury it."
The Red Wings got offensive contributions from three lines, got another effective game from the defense jumping into plays, and earned an important extra point.
"We did a good job in a lot of areas," coach Jeff Blashill said.
Larkin opened the scoring with his fifth goal at 9:12 of the first period.
Larkin sped around a half-hearted check attempt by two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson, got to the goal line, and banked a shot off the backside of goalie Craig Anderson.
Blashill paired Larkin and Datsyuk on a line for the first time and they had effective moments throughout the game.
Nyquist made it 2-0 just under two minutes later, taking advantage of lax Senators defense.
A seemingly innocent Red Wings rush suddenly became a 3-on-2 break, with Mike Green centering a pass to Justin Abdelkader, who found Nyquist alone on the wing for Nyquist's seventh goal.
"I had my head down and skating hard and Abby made a great call (for the puck)," Green said. "I got the puck to Abby and he made a great play."
The Senators were able to get back in the game late in the first period on the power play.
With Larkin in the box for interference, Hoffman cut the Red Wings lead to 2-1 with just three seconds left on the power play.
The Senators worked the puck to Hoffman on the point and he whistled a shot past a screened Howard, Hoffman's fifth goal, at 16:10 of the first period.
Hoffman's goal gave Ottawa some momentum, and the Senators had more when Glendening was whistled for hooking 25 seconds into the second period.
But the Red Wings killed the penalty, then earned a power play themselves when Karlsson was called for slashing. They didn't score on the power play but regained their footing in the game.
Plain old hard work and effort created the Red Wings' third goal.
Glendening's line with Helm and Sheahan carried the play against Ottawa, forced a penalty, and on the delayed call Sheahan got to the puck first on a scramble around Anderson and put in his third goal at 16:24.
"It was definitely a good shift going there," Sheahan said. "We did some grunting around there, got the puck to the net, and it was nice to see the puck go in."