On a night when defense took a holiday, Manny Malhotra turned from a checker into a scorer.
Malhotra, signed by Vancouver because of his defensive skills and ability to win faceoffs, scored twice and set up Jannik Hansen's game-tying goal in the third period as the Canucks outlasted the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 on Saturday.
"It was definitely a shootout type of game," said Malhotra, who scored on a shorthanded breakaway late in the second period and added an insurance goal in the third. "But once we had that two-goal lead we were able to settle down a little bit. We knew they'd be coming, but we were able to play more simple and keep them outside."
The Wings, playing their third game in four nights in Western Canada, were actually led 4-3 on Niklas Kronwall's second goal of the night early in the third period. But Hansen tied the game before consecutive penalties to Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi led to power-play goals by Alex Edler and Malhotra.
After Roberto Luongo robbed Darren Helm on a shorthanded 2-on-1 break, Edler beat Jimmy Howard at 8:18 -- the fifth lead change of the night. Malhotra banged in a rebound 2:44 later as the Canucks won their sixth in a row.
Malhotra now has 10 points in 13 games.
"It always nice to contribute offensively, but more important we kept this streak alive," Malhotra said. "We could have cracked a couple times."
"The best thing we did in the third was start throwing pucks at the net," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "Shoot from everywhere and create scrambles that are tough to defend."
The Canucks, who have the NHL's best power play, had just one power play in the first 40 minutes, but drew four in the final 20.
"We set ourselves up well and basically limited them to very little, and then we take penalties in the third and gifted a couple of goals," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock, who refused to blame the loss on playing for a second straight night -- the Wings won 3-1 at Edmonton on Friday. "I don't buy any of that. You've got to give credit to their power play."
Howard (6-1-1) took his first regulation in 23 games (19-1-3) dating to last season.
"Just one of those nights," said Howard, who made 28 saves. "You're trying not to let your brain go to mush back there."
"Kronwall's goal should have been the game-winning goal," Babcock said. "I didn't think it was that back and forth. I just think the puck went in the net all the time. That's way too many goals for both those teams to give up."
|Daniel Sedin (9) Slapshot - ASST: Henrik Sedin (13), Alexander Edler (9)|
1 - 0 VAN
|Daniel Cleary (3) Deflected shot - ASST: Justin Abdelkader (1), Mike Modano (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Niklas Kronwall (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Tomas Holmstrom (3), Pavel Datsyuk (8)|
2 - 1 DET
|Mikael Samuelsson (2) Deflected shot - ASST: Tanner Glass (2), Ryan Kesler (2)|
2 - 2 Tie
|SHG - Manny Malhotra (3) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE|
3 - 2 VAN
|PPG - Jonathan Ericsson (1) Slapshot - ASST: Nicklas Lidstrom (13), Henrik Zetterberg (11)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Niklas Kronwall (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Johan Franzen (3), Brad Stuart (6)|
4 - 3 DET
|Jannik Hansen (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Manny Malhotra (6), Raffi Torres (2)|
4 - 4 Tie
|PPG - Alexander Edler (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Kesler (3), Henrik Sedin (14)|
5 - 4 VAN
|PPG - Manny Malhotra (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Mason Raymond (5), Aaron Rome (2)|
6 - 4 VAN
|Mikael Samuelsson Interference against Justin Abdelkader|
|Niklas Kronwall Interference against Manny Malhotra|
|Justin Abdelkader Fighting (maj) against Keith Ballard|
|Keith Ballard Fighting (maj) against Justin Abdelkader|
|Daniel Sedin Tripping against Johan Franzen|
|Raffi Torres Too many men/ice - bench|
|Ryan Kesler Boarding against Drew Miller|
|Johan Franzen Holding against Andrew Alberts|
|Todd Bertuzzi Roughing against Ryan Kesler|
|Tomas Holmstrom Hooking against Raffi Torres|
|Daniel Cleary Roughing against Keith Ballard|