DETROIT -- It was the kind of hard-work goal that Pat Burns would have appreciated.
It also meant a little more to Minnesota center John Madden on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena after he scored the game-winner to beat Detroit 4-3 with 41.3 seconds left in overtime, then learned of Burns' death earlier in the evening.
The news helped put the big goal in perspective for Madden, who won a Stanley Cup with Burns in 2003 while playing for New Jersey.
"Pat and I got along great in Jersey, and he was probably the best coach I ever had," said Madden, who slid a rebound under the pad of Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard for his fourth marker of the season. "As a coach, he really knew how to get me going and fire me up. He taught me a lot about myself and how to play in this League, so I'm very thankful to have known Pat Burns."
As for the game itself, Minnesota was thankful that backup goalie Jose Theodore was sharp while giving starter Niklas Backstrom a night off. Theodore stopped 41 of 44 shots by the Red Wings (12-3-2), who dropped just their second game in OT on home ice after coming from two goals down to lead 3-2 late in the third period.
It looked like another Detroit flurry of goals in a relatively short span was going to stand up for another win, but Mikko Koivu spoiled that with his fourth goal of the season at 18:27 of the third.
Koivu scored off a long rebound to send the game to overtime at 3-3. Madden then ended it by burying another rebound near the blue paint after some nifty stick handling by Marek Zidlicky.
"I think they had a play in our zone to start with and we got a little breakout," Madden said. "I was just trying to find (Martin Havlat) when I went over the blue line. He did some stuff with it, and then (Zidlicky) just did a thousand stops and starts with it in order to buy time. I just kept circling the wagons."
It paid off for the Wild (10-6-2), who've now won three in a row, the last two in overtime.
Darren Helm, Johan Franzen and Patrick Eaves scored for the Wings -- all coming within 5:29 of game action spread between the end of the second and start of the third. Helm's first goal of the season with 33.7 seconds left in the second started the Detroit comeback, after Minnesota got out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck.
Eaves scored his third of the season on a wraparound 4:55 into the third and that looked like it would hold up as the game-winner until Koivu and Madden came to the rescue for Minnesota. Earlier, Helm one-timed a backhand pass from Justin Abdelkader, while Franzen fired a shot from the right circle that deflected off Greg Zanon's left leg and eluded Theodore.
Aiding Theodore was the Wings misfiring. Detroit missed the net 20 times, including six by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who had a great look in overtime but sailed a shot over the open goal.
"They did a good job, but we're not hitting the nets," Lidstrom said. "That's going to hurt you. We played strong in the third period, but we had some letdowns when we had the 3-2 lead. We didn't help Howie out on the rebounds."
The win was also a rare treat for Minnesota. Historically speaking, coming to Detroit hasn't been enjoyable for the Wild. Before Friday's game, Minnesota had lost seven of its previous eight trips to Joe Louis Arena.
The Wild also toted a paltry 4-13-1 all-time record into this game and were outscored 71-40 in the process.
This time it took 20 minutes for the Wings to start dominating the action. Despite being outshot 9-8 in the first, Minnesota jumped on top early.
Burns nearly got his fifth power-play goal when he put Minnesota up 1-0 at 8:16 of the first. Three seconds after Henrik Zetterberg got out of the penalty box, Burns launched a long blast that hit the back of the net after traveling under the right leg of Eric Nystrom while screening Howard.
It wasn't technically a power-play goal, but the play started with Zetterberg still in the box for hooking Koivu. Between periods, Burns said he wasn't intending to use Nystrom as a screen.
"I actually pulled out because I thought (Zetterberg) was coming out of the box," he said. "Then the puck came around. They did a great job in front of the net and I just shot it and tried not to hit that first guy."
Meanwhile, Theodore was sharp through the first two periods. Howard, who made 23 saves, was also good early. For the second straight game, he made a big save late in the first by turning away a hard shot from Cam Barker with 1:00 left to keep it 1-0.
Minnesota wasted no time extending its lead in the second.
Clutterbuck made it 2-0 at 1:35 of the period after collecting the puck off the end boards and throwing a shot at Howard from near the trapezoid. The puck squeezed between Howard's left skate and the post for his seventh of the season. Just 19 games into the season, Clutterbuck is now more than halfway to his career high of 13 goals scored last season.
That, however, turned out to be just one of three shots the Wild managed in the second. Detroit outshot Minnesota by a staggering 18-3 margin thanks mostly to three power plays, including a 5-on-3, all of which the Wild successfully killed off.
The Wings, who host Calgary on Sunday, would have come away completely empty-handed were it not for Helm's goal.
"We did a good job fighting back," Howard said. "It's just bad breaks. The season's not always going to go your way every single night and we've just got to bounce back."