DENVER (AP) — Pavel Datsyuk knocked in a rebound at 4:45 of overtime, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Friday night to hold onto seventh place in the Western Conference.
Datsyuk, who had two goals, ended the game after Henrik Zetterberg put a shot on net that goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn’t cover. Datsyuk reached out to poke in the puck as defenseman Matt Hunwick was draped all over him.
Jimmy Howard had 32 saves, and Gustav Nyquist had a goal for the Red Wings, who are locked in a tight fight for a playoff spot.
P.A. Parenteau and Mark Olver scored for Colorado, which gave Detroit all it could handle before losing for the 11th time in 13 games.
The rivalry that blossomed between these teams in 1996 has lost steam with Colorado’s string of non-playoff seasons. Still, the Red Wings’ presence in Denver always adds a charge even if neither team looks like those that combined to win five Stanley Cup titles from 1996-2002.
The Red Wings came into Friday having lost three of four. They slipped to seventh place, one point ahead of St. Louis, which has played two fewer games. Detroit is a perennial top seed in the postseason but is in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990.
The Avalanche have been reduced to the spoiler role for the third straight season. Colorado is last in the NHL in points and is looking at a high draft pick for the fourth time in five seasons.
Despite the different directions, this game was close. Detroit took a 1-0 lead on Datsyuk’s power-play goal midway through the first period — his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Colorado tied it when Olver scored on a breakaway at 11:36, but Nyquist gave the Red Wings the lead back with his second goal 13 seconds later.
It stayed that way until the third, when Colorado came out charging. The pressure paid off when Parenteau tipped in a pass from Jamie McGinn at 6:29 to tie it 2-2.
The Avalanche continued to dominate in the third and held a 14-1 advantage in shots before Tyson Barrie took a penalty at 14:16. The Red Wings couldn’t take advantage of the power play and the game went into overtime.
NOTES: Detroit D Kyle Quincey returned after sitting out 10 games because of facial fractures sustained March 15 against Edmonton. … Henrik Zetterberg earned his 399th career assist. … Olver’s goal was his first point in eight games. He had a goal and assist against Dallas on March 20.
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