OTTAWA - Gustav Nyquist didn't want his Detroit Red Wings to go to the shootout, that's why he decided to do it all himself in overtime.
Nyquist scored at 4:12 of extra time as the Red Wings defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday night.
Nyquist carried the puck around the Senators' zone for close to 30 seconds, circling Ottawa's net three times before launching a shot from the slot for the winner.
"It was good. Nice to get the win in OT. We haven't been as successful in the shootout as we want so it's nice to get the win coming back," Nyquist said of the win.
"You know you have a little bit more space out there on four-on-four and the other guys did a good job creating space for me and I had a good screen in front. It's tough to defend when you have a lot of room and you can protect (the puck) on the outside. I just tried to hold on to it as long as possible to get a good shot off and it worked."
Detroit (19-8-9) got its other goals from Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg, but it was the work of netminder Jimmy Howard and his 31 saves that avoided a Red Wings loss in regulation. He stopped Ottawa's Erik Karlsson on a breakaway early in overtime to help keep the game tied.
"I think we played well for the most part of the game and I think we controlled it and created a lot of chances to win, but they scored one more," Karlsson said.
"We're playing a lot better hockey and if we keep doing this hopefully it will pay off soon."
Mike Hoffman and Clarke MacArthur scored in regulation for the Senators (14-14-7), while Craig Anderson turned aside 24 shots.
Some credit also goes to Zetterberg who tied the game at 3:58 of the third period, just three seconds after Ottawa defenceman Mark Borowieki took an interference penalty.
Pavel Datsyuk won the faceoff back to Niklas Kronwall at the point who then sent the puck along the blue-line to Zetterberg who fired a shot past Anderson.
The Senators controlled play early on as they were in Detroit's end for most of the opening two minutes, but a penalty in the offensive zone cost them its momentum.
The Red Wings were unable to capitalize on their early play and the game's first goal didn't come until Hoffman chipped a rebound over top of Howard and in at 13:41 after Detroit's goalie made the original point shot from Mark Borowiecki.
"We hadn't had a good second and (Howard) had given us a chance going into the third so I said to the guys let's just execute and that's what we did," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
"We normally skate and we didn't skate at all for two periods. We relied a lot on our goaltending and I thought our specialty teams were good in the fact that we didn't clear the puck very good on the penalty kill but we were in good spots and in the end it was a big win for our team."
It looked as though the Senators were going to take a well-deserved 1-0 lead into the first intermission after controlling the play much of the first, but Detroit tied the game with just 14 seconds left in the period.
Zetterberg took a shot that went wide but the puck hit the end boards on a perfect angle as it went right onto the stick of Abdelkader who was parked on the other side of the net and quickly put a backhander past Anderson.
"It always stinks to lose and that's just the nature of the game. Someone has to win and someone has to lose, but it wasn't due to lack of effort," Anderson said.
"I think our effort was there and our process was there and doing things we need to do to win was there. The last several games we've been there at the end of the night with an opportunity to win the game."
Ottawa continued to control the game in the second period as they outshot the Red Wings 25-13 through two periods, but more importantly took a 2-1 lead into the third period.
While all involved were happy with the marker, no one was more so than MacArthur, who hadn't scored in his previous nine games and had just two goals in his past 21 games.
Kyle Turris carried the puck into the offensive zone and from along the boards made a great pass to the middle of the ice to MacArthur who buried a one-timer past Howard at 13:16.
Notes — Chris Phillips was the lone scratch for Ottawa while Daniel Cleary, Joakim Andersson and Brian Lashoff were scratches for Detroit…Saturday's game was the 32nd all-meeting between the Red Wings and Senators…Mike Hoffman leads Ottawa with seven goals at home…Detroit leads the NHL with 33 power-play goals.