Red Wings rally in third period, defeat Canucks in OT

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By Kevin Woodley – NHL.com Correspondent

Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN) 

VANCOUVER — Petr Mrazek kept the Detroit Red Wings in the game long enough to mount a comeback, so it was only fitting the goaltender also set up the winning goal in overtime.

Mrazek made 30 saves before his long pass sent Gustav Nyquist in on a breakaway for the overtime winner with 1:10 left, giving the Red Wings a 3-2 come-from-behind victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

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Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN)

Mrazek caught the Canucks on a line change and hit Nyquist with a pass at the far blue line. Nyquist skated in alone and snapped a low shot past goalie Ryan Miller on the glove side.

“That was a good end of the night for him after a great performance, making that whole play happen, it’s all on him,” Nyquist said of Mrazek. “He was for sure our best player tonight.”

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Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN)

The Red Wings (4-3-1) had lost four straight and trailed 2-0 entering the third period, but Teemu Pulkkinen started the Detroit comeback on a partial breakaway assisted by Tomas Tatar 4:25 into the third period, and Tatar tied it with a power-play goal 2:34 later.

Tatar and first-year Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill credited captain Henrik Zetterberg for sparking the comeback with his effort throughout the game and his message during the second intermission.

“Our guys came out and played hard in the third and at a level that it takes, and I would just give a lot of that credit to [Zetterberg] and the approach that he took,” Blashill said.

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Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN)

The Red Wings were playing without defensemen Kyle Quincey and Mike Green after each was injured in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Calgary Flames on Friday, but they still managed to outshoot the Canucks 12-7 during the third-period comeback.

“We knew we didn’t play good enough and we didn’t put in enough effort the last few games, so it gets you real mad, for sure, and we stepped up and showed we can play hockey,” Tatar said. “I feel like everybody was thinking about it in the locker room, and we stepped up and I think the Red Wings showed up. Everybody was battling and put their heart on the ice.”

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Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN)

Defenseman Christopher Tanev and center Brandon Sutter each scored a power-play goal for the Canucks (3-2-3), who have lost their past four games and all five games at home this season.

“We’ve got to figure it out here,” Tanev said. “I felt we controlled the game the first two periods, we come out flat again, and it’s 2-2 before you blink.”

Miller made 25 saves for Vancouver, which also blew a third-period lead and lost in regulation to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Alexandre Burrows had two assists.

“We just haven’t found a way to close one out here,” Sutter said. “Through 40 minutes, we didn’t give them anything, to be honest with you. We knew they were going to come hard in the third and we sat back the first few shifts.”

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Tanev opened the scoring 13:03 into the first period, taking a pass as the trailer on a rush and beating a partially screened Mrazek low to the glove side from in between the top of the faceoff circles. It was the second straight game the Canucks converted with the man-advantage after starting the season 1-for-20.

Sutter’s goal at 8:02 of the second period was the third by the Canucks’ second power-play unit, one more than it scored all of last season. It was Sutter’s third of the season.

Vancouver had several chances to extend its lead, but Mrazek kept it close with several great saves on odd-man rushes and scrambles. He got some help from Detroit defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who batted a puck out of the air as it was headed across the goal line behind the sprawling goalie in the second period.

“My D helped me there, stopping the puck on the line or it could maybe be 3-0 and a different game, but the game goes, you get more confident and build on that,” Mrazek said. “It’s a huge victory for us.”

Pulkkinen started the comeback and scored his fourth goal by holding off rookie defenseman Ben Hutton on a partial breakaway and pulling Miller across his crease right to left before shooting the puck between the goalie’s legs as he moved.

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Photo by Derek Cain Photography (ISN)

Tatar scored to tie the game with Vancouver defenseman Yannick Weber, inserted into the lineup to spark the power play, in the penalty box for high sticking. He used a good screen by Justin Abdelkader to beat Miller high on the blocker side from the left faceoff circle for his second goal.

“I just waited for [Abdelkader] to give me a little space, and he did. That was his goal too,” Tatar said.

Nyquist, who has four goals, said the comeback started in the second intermission.

“We had a talk in here about losing four in a row and we gotta go out there and win some battles,” Nyqvist said. “I think that was the biggest thing. We skated hard, we out-battled them and won more pucks and wanted it more, and I thought that showed in the third.”

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