DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings finally found a way to get an extra point out of extra time.
Daniel Alfredsson scored his second goal of the game, this one on the power play, just a minute and three seconds into overtime as the Wings beat the Calgary Flames, 3-2, Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit had lost nine straight games that were decided after regulation.
“I mean we’re not playing our best, but we have to have the effort I think we’ve got to build from this,” said Alfredsson, who also had an assist. “It’s great to see everybody working hard, but you know it’s one game and we’ve got two more here before Christmas and like to really finish strong before the little break we have.”
The victory also snapped the Wings’ six-game winless streak.
Joakim Andersson also scored for Detroit and Jonas Gustavsson, who entered the game 0-4-0 lifetime against Calgary, made 20 saves.
Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano scored for the Flames, while Karri Ramo stopped 35 shots.
“Just winning the game was important for us,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I never thought about the extra point, just about winning the game.”
After not scoring a goal on their last 17 power play chances, it was a 4-on-3 man advantage that led to the game winner.
Pavel Datsyuk, who assisted on all three goals, fed a pretty cross-ice pass to Alfredsson for the one-timer to beat Ramo cleanly.
“Pav got the puck back and caught them a little spread out and he found a perfect seam for me there and it was just you know get it off the ice and had an open net pretty much,” Alfredsson said.
Datsyuk assisted on all three goals.
“I thought part way through the second he got going,” Babcock said of Datsyuk. “I thought their line had the toughest time through the first period. We kind of split them up in the second and then I thought he got going as did Alfredsson as well. You need your big guys, especially when you’re shorthanded, especially offensively for us because of the players we dressing. Our team competed.
“You need guys, not to talk necessarily, but lead by example on the ice,” Babcock continued. “Make a play when you need one. Then everyone settles down and relaxes. Our captain (Henrik) Zetterberg is a hard-headed guy. He’s got stick-to-itiveness and we miss that part of his game so other guys have to step up.”
Alfredsson opened the scoring just 26 seconds into the game, banging home a rebound in the slot off the stick of Ramo.
“Alfie has been huge for us,” Niklas Kronwall said. “To be able to play like that is pretty remarkable and the leadership that he brings and just the person that he is, very happy for him. I’m very happy that he’s on our side.”
Kronwall fired a shot in from the blue line off the end boards and right to Datsyuk, who shot was sticked aside by Ramo and right to a wide open Alfredsson.
“I thought I had my legs a little bit more than I’ve had lately which helps create chances and be strong on the puck and also being on the receiving end of some unbelievable passes helps too,” Alfredsson said.
However, less than five minutes later the Flames got the equalizer off a pretty similar play.
Mike Cammalleri fired a shot off the end boards behind Gustavsson and it came right to the stick of Backlund and he was able to fire it into the open net before the Wings goalie could get over.
Andersson put Detroit back in front by a goal as a shot from the point by Alfredsson deflected in off his skate just past the midway point of the game.
Andersson had just got done serving a penalty for cross checking and then joined the rush led by Datsyuk.
The assist by Alfredsson was the 700th of his career.
Alfredsson looked as if he had put the Wings up two goals with a power play tally, but after a very short review it was overturned and ruled the puck never completely crossed over the goal line.
Calgary again tied things up on a power play goal from Giordano.
The Wings had just got down killing off 1:44 of 5-on-3 power play time for the Flames, but with Jonathan Ericsson still in the box for high sticking, Giordano unleashed a wrist shot to beat Gustavsson.