Minnesota at Detroit

Gaborik nets shootout winner, Wild out scores Red Wings


DETROIT -- Marian Gaborik and Josh Harding cooled off the NHL-leading Detroit Red Wings.

Gaborik scored on the final attempt in a shootout and Harding made 26 saves in relief, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 6-5 victory agianst Detroit on Thursday night.

"If he wouldn't have made the saves that he did, I know there's no way," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire, who benched Niklas Backstrom after he gave up four goals in 1½ periods.

The Red Wings appeared to have the game in hand with 1:08 left in regulation, when they went ahead for the first time on Dan Cleary's goal.

But less than 20 seconds later, Eric Belanger grabbed a fluttering puck and lifted it past Chris Osgood to force overtime.

"We had the lead in the final minute and 99.9 percent of the time, we close out the game," Cleary said

In the shootout, Brian Rolston and Gaborik scored while Jiri Hudler was the only Red Wing to get a shot past Harding.

Osgood had a rough night, giving up a goal on the first shot he faced and allowing a season-high five goals shortly after he was named an All-Star and one day following the announcement of his three-year contract.

"Things had been going so well for me and the team," said Osgood, who had 23 saves. "I've had some lucky breaks and so have we, but this was the first time all year that the puck was ricocheting around and going in our net."

Backstrom was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots, including Niklas Kronwall's tying goal at 8:38 of the second period.

Harding kept the Wild in the game, turning away a slew of shots, including two quality scoring chances Pavel Datsyuk had in the third and stopping him and Henrik Zetterberg in the shootout.

Zetterberg, Valtteri Filppula, Dallas Drake and Kronwall scored for Detroit, which had won four straight.

Martin Skoula, Gaborik, Todd Fedoruk and Matt Foy had goals in regulation for the Wild, who were sold earlier in the day to former Nashville Predators owner Craig Leipold.

"It was a busy day, winning a game against this team, which we don't do too often, and getting new owners," Lemaire said. "It's a big day."

The new owner had to like the results of his first game, beating a team that entered the matchup 20-3-2 since mid-November.

Detroit began the day with at least 10 more points than any team in the NHL and were playing a team that had lost back-to-back games on the road.

"Every once in a while you need a reminder in life that you've got to work hard and you've got to work for 60 minutes," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Skoula had a goal four-plus minutes into the game. Zetterberg then scored for the 27th time, but the Wild had two goals in a 15-second span to go ahead by two goals for the first of two times. Filppula pulled Detroit to 3-2 in the final minute of the opening period.

Foy scored early in the second period, then the Red Wings overcame a two-goal deficit again with Drake's short-handed goal and Kronwall's goal in a 1:06 span.

"We haven't had one of those for ages," Osgood said. "We aren't used to those kind of run-and-gun games. We were down twice, didn't shut it down, kept fighting back. That was a good."

Minnesota beat Detroit for only the seventh time in 27 meetings since entering the league during the 2000-01 season. The Red Wings won the first two meetings this season by a combined score of 9-1.

"We don't win here very often. I don't think any team does," Nick Schultz said. "It's one of the hardest buildings to play in and they are the elite team in the league now."


  • Osgood entered the game giving up an NHL-low 1.7 goals a game and tying the league high with a .932 save percentage and no one could compare to his 19-2-1 record. He had allowed four goals only once before this season, winning the game in a shootout on Nov. 18 at Columbus.
  • Mikko Koivu (broken leg) is expected to play for the first time since mid-November on Friday night in Chicago.
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Marion Gaborik stops in front of the net to watch his game-winner beat Chris Osgood.  (Getty Images)
Marion Gaborik stops in front of the net to watch his game-winner beat Chris Osgood. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Minnesota  (24-17-2) «31101 (2)6
Detroit (33-8-4)22100 (1)5
Three Stars
M. Gaborik

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
D. Cleary

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
J. Harding

Saves: 26
Save Pct.: .963

Related Video

Scoring Summary
04:04Martin Skoula (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Marian Gaborik
05:07Henrik Zetterberg (27), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brett Lebda, Daniel Cleary
18:28Marian Gaborik (22), Snap Shot. Assist: Eric Belanger, Mark Parrish
18:43Todd Fedoruk (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Matt Foy, James Sheppard
19:32Valtteri Filppula (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Pavel Datsyuk, Brian Rafalski
03:00Matt Foy (3), Slap Shot. Assist: James Sheppard, Kim Johnsson
07:32Short - Dallas Drake (2), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
08:38Niklas Kronwall (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Johan Franzen, Daniel Cleary
18:52Daniel Cleary (16), Backhand Shot. Assist: Jiri Hudler, Henrik Zetterberg
19:11Eric Belanger (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Marian Gaborik, Mark Parrish
 Brian Rolston (1), GOAL
 Jiri Hudler (4), GOAL
 Marian Gaborik (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
12:44Kopecky, 2 min, Hooking
15:31Burns, 2 min, Cross-Checking
04:59Rolston, 2 min, Holding
06:01Cleary, 2 min, Roughing
10:22Fedoruk, 2 min, Slashing
12:57Fedoruk, 2 min, Hooking
18:14Samuelsson, 2 min, Interference
13:51Foster, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Niklas Backstrom28:3815400
Josh Harding36:1126131
Chris Osgood 64:4723532
Game Information
Attendance - 17848
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Jonny Murray
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