Just when it seemed the Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks were going to a shootout at GM Place on Saturday night, Henrik Zetterberg had other plans.
The Swedish star beat Roberto Luongo with 0.2 seconds remaining in overtime as the Red Wings rallied from a 2-0 deficit to earn a 4-3 victory and further solidified themselves in the Western Conference playoff race.
Detroit (35-23-13) earned five of six points on its three-game road trip and moved two points ahead of the Calgary Flames for the eighth and final playoff spot with 11 games left in the regular season. The Wings --- 6-1-1 in their last eight -- now return home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.
With the final seconds of overtime ticking down, Zetterberg peeled out of the corner around Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who had lost his stick, and into the slot before lifting a backhand over Luongo's left shoulder.
"It's nice when it goes our way," Zetterberg said. "I didn't know how much time was left, but it was enough. We needed those two points. We need to show up and play hard every game."
Luongo made 50 saves for the Canucks, who went 3-1-1 on a five-game homestand that followed their historic 14-game road trip. Kyle Wellwood and Shane O'Brien each had a goal and an assist in the first period despite the fact that Vancouver was outshot 17-8.
"We had quality, quality chances," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said of the first. "I thought it was much different from (Friday) night's game when we weren't prepared. Tonight we were prepared and we played well and it just didn't go in."
"We fought hard and got a point," O'Brien said. "We played good, but came up a little short."
But the Red Wings found the net in the second, when they peppered Luongo with 13 more shots. Todd Bertuzzi got Detroit on the board at 12:34 before Pavel Datsyuk scored just five seconds later to tie the game when he beat Luongo from 45 feet away.
"What is there to talk about," Luongo asked. "Datsyuk used our 'D' as a screen and I couldn't find it right away and obviously he put it in the corner."
Filppula gave the Wings the lead with 2:21 left in the second on a shorthanded breakaway. It was his eighth goal of the season.
"It was a really important win for us," Filppula said. "I think we played really well for the whole 60 minutes. I think the whole road trip went pretty well."
Daniel Sedin forced overtime when he beat Jimmy Howard (29 saves) at 4:40 of the third period, when Kevin Bieksa's long shot hit a Detroit stick, went high in the air and appeared headed over the net. But Sedin jumped up to grab it at the side of the net, dropped it to his stick and knocked it off Howard's outstretched pad and just over the goal line. With the tally, Sedin became the sixth Vancouver player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season.
"Dying seconds of overtime, it's a disappointing way to lose," Luongo said. "But we got a point."
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.