The start of a three-game road trip through California began on a thrilling, successful note Tuesday night for the Red Wings.
Dennis Cholowski scored the winning goal in overtime, at 2 minutes 4 seconds, capping a huge, 4-3 comeback victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
It was the Wings' third consecutive win.
Robby Fabbri continued his impressive play for the Wings, patiently finding Cholowski heading down ice, and Cholowski snapped the winner, Cholowski's second goal, past goalie Ryan Miller.
The Wings forced overtime when Dylan Larkin tied the score with 36.4 seconds left in regulation, with the Wings enjoying a 6-on-3 man advantage, having pulled goalie Jonathan Bernier and forcing the Ducks into two hooking penalties.
"There was a tough stretch there where we didn't like the way we were playing, but we kept working hard," Larkin told reporters after the game. "I think you see our confidence coming through in this win by coming from behind."
Filip Hronek and Andreas Athanasiou had second-period Wings goals — there were five total goals scored in the period — and Tyler Bertuzzi had a pair of assists, while Bernier stoped 23 shots while backstopping all three victories.
Jakob Silfverberg, Josh Mahura and Cam Fowler (Farmington) had Anaheim goals.
Here are other highlights from Tuesday’s game:
Hronek scored his fourth goal, cutting the Ducks lead to 2-1 at 11:33 of the second period. Hronek fired a one-timer from the dot off a Madison Bowey feed.
Late in the second period, Andreas Athanasiou sliced Anheim’s lead to 3-2 with his third goal. Athanasiou, parked in front of the crease, got his stick on Valtteri Filppula’s shot from the top of the slot, and redirected the puck past goalie Ryan Miller.
Larkin tied it with the Wings enjoying a 6-on-3 man advantage, knocking a loose puck past Miller with just under 37 seconds left in regulation time.
Cholowski then won it in overtime, on a feed from Fabbri, beating Miller from just inside the circle.
The newly acquired Fabbri continued his impressive play since being acquired last week.
Fabbri earned his second consecutive winning assist, and earned a point for a third consecutive game since joining the Wings.
Playing on a line with Andreas Athanasiou and Valtteri Filppula — who was particularly impressive Tuesday, with an assist and fine night in the faceoff circle — Fabbri has strengthened the Wings' lineup in a variety of ways in a small sample size.
That's three wins in three starts for Bernier, who stopped 23 shots and kept the Wings in the game in the second period as Anaheim threatened to pull away.
Coach Jeff Blashill said last week neither Bernier or Jimmy Howard grabbed hold of the No. 1 job through most of the first quarter of the season, but Bernier has over the last week.
You can sense Bernier getting more comfortable and confident — as is the team — over the last several games.
Silfverberg knocked in a loose puck through Bernier just 20 seconds into the second period, the game’s first goal, his eighth.
Anaheim pushed the lead to 2-0 just 29 seconds later, when Mahura took advantage of a Wings mix up on defensive coverage and snapped a shot from the point past Bernier, Mahura’s first goal.
Fowler made it 3-1 with his fourth goal, taking a good feed from Ryan Getzlaf and beating Bernier wide from the hashmarks.
Smith mixes it up
Givani Smith, recalled from Grand Rapids Monday morning, got into his first NHL fight late in the first period, tangling with Anaheim’s Nicolas Deslauriers. It came right off the faceoff, after Anthony Mantha and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf earned matching slashing penalties.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth was a late scratch because of illness. With Nemeth out, Alex Biega entered the Wings’ lineup. Luke Glendening (hand) continued to skate, participating in the morning skate. Danny DeKeyser and Justin Abdelkader are both out.
The Wings visit Los Angeles Thursday (10:30 p.m./Fox Sports Detroit/97.1) in the middle game of this three-game California trip.