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Red Wings rally in third period, top Stars in OT

by Steve Hunt

DALLAS -- The Detroit Red Wings would not be denied.

The Red Wings overcame a pair of two-goal deficits in the third period before Niklas Kronwall scored 36 seconds into overtime for a 7-6 victory against the Dallas Stars on Saturday at American Airlines Center.

"We can talk about how ugly of a game it was, we got two points. Give the guys credit," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Detroit (33-14-10) trailed 4-2 after two before defenseman Jakub Kindl scored twice in 45 seconds before the third period was two minutes old. The Red Wings were behind 6-4 midway through the third, but Justin Abdelkader scored a power-play goal with 7:13 remaining in regulation and Pavel Datsyuk forced overtime when he scored his second of the night off a scramble with 1:48 to play and goaltender Jonas Gustavsson on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.

"We didn't do many good things out there. We've got to be a lot better than that," Kronwall said. "But tonight, we got lucky. Crawled back into the game and got two points."

Kronwall won it when he took a pass from Darren Helm, came into the slot and whipped a backhander from between the hash marks that beat Kari Lehtonen. Datsyuk had the second assist on the goal, giving him a four-point night.

"[Helm] made a great play holding onto the puck, waited for me to enter the zone. [Datsyuk] drove the net, brought all the other guys with him. It just opened up a lane for me," Kronwall said.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Red Wings are the first team to trail by two goals in the third period, tie the game, fall behind again by two goals and come back to win since the Toronto Maple Leafs did it against the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 16, 1934.

After Kindl scored 56 seconds into the third and again at 1:41 to tie the game, Dallas went ahead 5-4 at 4:29 when Jordie Benn's slap shot deflected off Curtis McKenzie and went past Jimmy Howard. Dallas regained its two-goal lead on Shawn Horcoff's power-play goal at 10:37.

Horcoff's goal chased Howard, who made 26 saves before being replaced by Gustavsson.

Four Stars, Jamie Benn, Erik Cole, Trevor Daley and Horcoff, had a goal and an assist. Jordie Benn and Ales Hemsky had two assists, and Cody Eakin also scored for Dallas (27-23-9).

"Tough one to lose," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "Played our hearts out."

Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist for Detroit and Tomas Tatar had two assists.

Stars captain Jamie Benn gave Dallas the lead 12:42 into the first period with his 23rd of the season, knocking the rebound of older brother Jordie's shot under Howard and extending his point streak to six games.

Detroit tied it at 16:57 when Nyquist scored his 21st of the season. He took a pass from Riley Sheahan in the slot and fired a wrist shot that hit Lehtonen's blocker and deflected into the net off the upper part of the goaltender's stick.

The Red Wings took their first lead at 9:20 of the second when Datsyuk stole the puck from Stars rookie defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka near the Dallas blue line, raced in alone on Lehtonen and beat him with a wrist shot that hit the far post before going in.

"We did not play great today," Datsyuk said. "They played better than us. We were lucky to win."

Dallas responded in a big way, scoring three goals in three minutes to take a 4-2 lead after two periods.

Daley tied it at 15:16 with his 16th, a wrist shot from the right circle that went in after traveling up and over Howard. Eakin gave Dallas the lead with his 12th of the season at 17:02. He took a pass from Daley and fired a wrist shot from the left point that beat Howard, who was heavily screened by McKenzie, to the short side.

The Stars made it 4-2 with 1:44 remaining when Jason Demers' wrist shot from the right circle hit Cole, who knocked the loose puck past Howard for his 17th of the season.

The lead didn't last long.

Kindl, who had missed the previous 20 games with an elbow injury, beat Lehtonen to the far post with a screened slap shot from the high slot 56 seconds into the third period, then tied the game 45 seconds later by taking a pass from Tatar and beating Lehtonen with a slap shot from the right circle. The two quick goals matched his season total.

"Definitely, it was an ugly game," Kindl said. "I'm not going to lie to you. We were down 4-2 going into the third period. We just said to each other on the bench or in the locker room, they score a quick two goals and we can do the same thing, so we just kept coming. It was ugly but a win is a win."

Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg sustained an upper-body injury in the second period; he played only 15 seconds in the third and didn't see the ice after 9:45 of the final period.

"I don't have a clue on that," Babcock said of Zetterberg's status. "We'll just monitor him tomorrow and see what happens."

Datsyuk's equalizer late in regulation didn't sit well with the Dallas bench; the Stars felt Abdelkader had clearly interfered with Lehtonen after colliding with the Stars goaltender prior to the goal.

"I just got kind of pushed in the net and the puck was sliding the other way at the same time, pretty frustrating," Lehtonen said. "Stuff like that should not happen. It's weird how they can look at some things from the video and that kind of things, they cannot. They got it wrong."

Detroit continues its six-game road trip Monday at the Anaheim Ducks. Dallas plays Sunday at the Minnesota Wild.

"You just put it behind you," Ruff said of the loss. "We just move on to the next one, put this one behind us and go on to win the game."

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