ST. PAUL, Minn. - Chris Osgood made 33 saves through overtime and then two big ones in the shootout in his first game since Dec. 15 to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal in the shootout. Osgood denied Krys Kolanos and Mikko Koivu, and Brent Burns didn't get a shot off before the puck trickled off his stick.
Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen scored in regulation for the Wings. Franzen's tying goal in the third period initially was disallowed by a high stick. After a lengthy review, the ruling was overturned.
Josh Harding made 35 saves for the Wild, who played their first game since getting the news that star winger Marian Gaborik will be out at least 10 weeks because of left hip surgery.
Yet the offensively starved Wild put up quite a fight, going toe-to-toe and shot-for-shot with the high-flying Red Wings.
Owen Nolan and Antti Miettinen scored in the first 51 seconds of the third period to wipe away a 1-0 deficit before Franzen's controversial goal with 4:37 to play in regulation.
Officials initially ruled he batted the puck with a high stick and disallowed the goal. But the ruling was ultimately overturned, giving Osgood and the Wings new life.
Osgood missed the previous seven games with a strained groin, but has been practising for two weeks. Detroit coach Mike Babcock wanted to make sure he was not only physically ready to return, but mentally ready, as well.
Aside from a couple of big rebounds, Osgood looked sharp. He made a brilliant glove save on a breakaway by James Sheppard with 12 minutes to play that kept the Wings in it and then stopped Nolan on the doorstep with 55 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
It was yet another game the Wild sorely missed Gaborik. He has been out most of the season with the injury, so the Wild are used to playing without him. But it's been a struggle.
Minnesota went 4-9-1 in December and entered the night with more total goals than only two teams in the NHL - Tampa Bay and Ottawa.
Scoring has never been a problem for the mighty Red Wings, who outscored Chicago 10-4 in a home-and-home series with the Blackhawks that included an outdoor game at Wrigley Field on Thursday.
The Red Wings entered the game averaging more than 36 shots per game and have only been outshot three times this season. Yet the Wild held a 33-31 advantage in that category heading into overtime before the Wings finished the game ahead 37-35.
Notes: Nolan's goal was his 144th career power-play tally, tied for eighth among active players with Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour. ... Babcock scratched D Brett Lebda so he could get Derek Meech some playing time on the blue line. Meech had not played D since Nov. 11.