Datsyuk's controversial goal caps comeback for streaking Red Wings

Updated: December 24, 2005, 2:27 AM ET
SportsTicker

CHICAGO -- Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings sent the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans home with a feeling of bewilderment.

Datsyuk scored the controversial game-winning goal with less than one second remaining in overtime as the Red Wings pulled off a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Blackhawks.

It was the third straight win for Detroit, which improved to 4-0-0 against Chicago this season.

"Down the stretch, we finally found a way," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, the team that works the hardest gets the win. Tonight, the team that worked the hardest got the loss."

The game was tied, 2-2, and appeared to be headed to a shootout when Datsyuk tallied as time expired.

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom blasted a shot from the blue line, but Nikolai Khabibulin turned it aside. Lidstrom gathered the rebound high in the slot and fed Datsyuk, who ripped a one-timer near the top of the right faceoff circle that got past Khabibulin and crossed the goal line with approximately two-tenths of a second remaining.

"It was just a gift," Datsyuk said. "A gift from the Russian Santa Claus."

The goal was initially called off, but the officials ultimately reviewed the play after Detroit protested. After a lengthy review, the officials ruled that the puck crossed the goal line before the final horn sounded.

"None of our guys on the ice said anything. They didn't know if it was good or not," Babcock said. "The guys on the bench thought we won. I talked to (assistant coach) Todd McLellan and (video coach) Jay Woodcroft, and they thought we won."

Babcock admitted that he was in the middle of planning his strategy for the pending shootout when he learned the officials allowed the goal.

"I just tried to get our shooters ready for the shootout and let guys know who was going to shoot until we found out we didn't have to," he said.

Chicago owned a 2-0 lead in the final minute of regulation, but Detroit tallied twice in a span of 32 seconds to forge a tie and send the game to overtime.

"We just got desperate there at the end," Lidstrom said. "We wanted to get more pucks at the net and we did that. It just feels so good to come back and win."

Kris Draper scored with 39 seconds left to halve Detroit's deficit, and Datsyuk assisted on Lidstrom's game-tying tally with seven seconds remaining to force the extra session.

"We didn't play a great hockey game," Draper said. "We played a solid third period. When we scored the first goal, I looked up at the clock and saw 40 seconds. I wasn't sure we had enough time. Nick just made a great play to tie the game and then we had the momentum."

"I don't like cheating the system, and we have good skill and all, but I just like outworking the other team," Babcock said. "Tonight, we got away with one so we will chalk it up to Santa Claus looking after us. Santa doesn't come very often though, maybe once a year."

Khabibulin stopped 34 shots and former Red Wing Martin Lapointe tallied for the Blackhawks, who concluded a 1-3 homestand.

"When things are not going well for you, things like this happen," Lapointe said. "We have to be professional and keep moving forward after this. If we can keep playing every game like this, we will be tough to beat."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index