Wild's fast pace swing momentum
After Martin Skoula gave the Minnesota Wild an early 1-0 lead, Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg answered 63-seconds later, setting the pace for what would become the Wings' highest-scoring game of the season.
The speedy goals continued as later in the first when Minnestoa scored two goals just 15-seconds apart. Marion Gaborik and Todd Fedoruk swung the game in the visitor's favor with their quick scoring.
"That kind of sets the tone for the game, we were down pretty much the whole game," said Wings defenseman Nicklas Kronwall, who's third goal of the season tied the score at 4-4 in the second.
The two goals put Minnesota ahead late in the first, but 49-seconds after Fedoruk put the Wild up 3-1, Valterri Filppula took one back for Detroit scoring a highlight reel goal with only 28-seconds left in the period to bring the Wings back, both mentally and on the scoreboard.
"We were fortunate, I think, to get that Filppula goal," Wings defenseman Chirs Chelios said. "Their team, Minnesota, when they get a two goal lead they go back in that defensive-mode and they just capitalize on your mistakes."
After a Matt Foy goal put the Wild up 4-2 early in the second, and unexpected source of scoring for Detroit came through when a shot from Dallas Drake was tipped by Kurtis Foster and over goalie Niklas Backstrom to bring the Wings again back within one.
That harmless throw to the goal led to Kronwall's goal 66 second later to tie the game, and turned Backstrom into a spectator for the rest of the night. It was the first time Backstrom had been pulled from a game since Nov. 16 against Edmonton, a game which the Wild won 4-2. Josh Harding entered the game and helped slow the scoring to a more goalie-friendly pace.
The game leveled out until 1:08 left in regulation when Dan Cleary put the Wings ahead for the first time all night.
"We ended up with a goal in the last (period)," Kronwall said. "We were hoping to build on that, but they came right back and scored. It was a weird game."
But once again, Minnesota answered, forcing overtime when Eric Bellanger scored with 49 seconds left in regulation.
"The bounce they got, that's just where the extra guy was," said Chelios of Bellanger's game tying goal. "It's just unfortunate, and then we lost in a shootout."
Even in the shootout, goals came in bunches. After the first three shooters missed, Brian Rolston scored to put the Wild up 1-0. Wings center Jiri Hudler came right back with a shot past Harding to put the pressure back on Gaborik, Minnesota's third shooter. Not to be outdone, Gaborik raced down and got the second point of the night for the Wild who lived up to their name in this 10-goal event.
While the Wings weren't satisfied with one point, they can be proud of their tireless effort to stay in the game, twice coming back from two goal deficits to tie the game before moving on to another high scoring team Saturday night in Ottawa.