EDMONTON – For the second straight game, the Red Wings’ power play unit scored a goal. … Well, technically speaking.
The Red Wings didn’t really score, though defenseman Nikas Kronwall was credited with scoring the game-tying goal late in the third period at Rexall Place.
Detroit eventually defeated the Oilers, 3-2 in overtime, on another magical goal by Pavel Datsyuk at 3:39 of the extra period.
But the comeback wouldn’t have been possible if not for a couple of miscue by a metro Detroit native. Jeff Petry, the son of former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dan Petry, accidentally fired a shot past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk at 14:07.
Petry’s snafu rekindled bad memories for Oilers’ fans who remember Steve Smith’s gaff, which cost Edmonton a ticket to the 1986 Stanley Cup finals. Smith was a rookie, who, on his 23rd birthday, attempted a pass from behind his own net that ricocheted off goalie Grant Fuhr and into the Edmonton net in Game 7 of the conference finals against Calgary.
Clearly, Petry’s mistake wasn’t made on as large a stage as Game 7 of the playoff series, but it certainly kept the Oilers from corralling two points on Friday.
“I saw the puck pop free and my first reaction was to put my stick on the ice,” Petry said. “But I had forward momentum and it just ended up in the net.”
Because he was the last Red Wings’ player to touch the puck prior to Petry’s mishap, Kronwall was credited with his sixth goal of the season. It was just the Red Wings' second power-play goal on 43 road attempts this season.
“We needed a goal,” Kronwall said, “and obviously we were lucky the way we got it.”
Trailing 2-0 to start the third, the Red Wings, who were outplayed through 40-minutes, stormed back on three straight goals to snap a four-game winless streak on Friday night.
“I thought the first two periods weren’t very good at all,” Kronwall said. “We were a step behind, chasing. They were flying around out there and we were standing around looking at each other.
“In the third, I thought we started playing the way we wanted. We were getting the puck in deep and our forwards did a great job of just staying on them. We got some good cycles going and it really got us going there.”
In overtime, Datsyuk put on a clinic when he victimized Petry again. This time the Wings’ forward turned the former Michigan State standout inside and out before blasting a shot past Dubnyk.
Datsyuk’s goal ended a personal goal drought, which had reached 11 games without a goal. His last goal came on Feb. 19 at Nashville.
“We know that he’s working so hard every night,” Kronwall said, of Datsyuk. “He’s creating, even when he’s not scoring, he’s creating for us whether it’s on the PK, power play, or whatever.
“When he comes with speed he’s really hard to stop. And his shooting in stride, it’s really tough to defend. Obviously, (we’re) very happy to see him get the puck … and do what he does best.”
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
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