VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Patience, persistence and a lot of shots on goal finally paid off for the Detroit Red Wings.
After being stymied by 48 saves by Craig Anderson in a loss at Colorado on Saturday, and turned away early and often by Vancouver's Roberto Luongo in the first 40 minutes Tuesday night, Detroit's offense broke through in the third period against the Canucks.
Jason Williams scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 5:03 left to cap a wild final period, leading the Red Wings to a 5-4 victory over Vancouver. Pavel Datsyuk scored his first two goals of the season for Detroit (4-4-2) in a third period that featured six goals and three comebacks.
"If you're not shooting the puck, good things are not going to happen," Williams said. "That was our focus the last few games: just get pucks to the net and shoot as much as possible. It showed again tonight, we got a lot of pucks on net and we were rewarded with goals."
Datsyuk's second score put the Red Wings ahead for the first time, but Henrik Sedin scored his second of the game on a 5-on-3 power play to tie it with 7:57 left. Williams put Detroit ahead for good after Willie Mitchell clipped Henrik Zetterberg with a high stick behind the Canucks net, pinching down from the point to tap in a perfect cross-crease feed from Valtteri Flippula.
It was the fourth Red Wings goal of the period past Luongo, who had only given up six in his previous five games combined. It looked early like Luongo would stay stingy with several highlight saves, but after a 49-23 shot advantage in Colorado, Detroit outshot the Canucks 46-26.
"The last two games we are over 90 shots so eventually some pucks will go in," said Zetterberg, who had one assist. "There's nothing else you can do, just go after it even more and try to get pucks at him and eventually it will go in for you. We did it today and scored some goals."
Tomas Holmstrom had a goal and an assist and Niklas Kronwall also scored as the Red Wings snapped a three-game winless skid with their first road win of the season (1-3-1).
"We haven't done a lot of winning here lately," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "You can feel bad for yourself or you can just keep grinding."
Christian Ehrhoff and Mathieu Schneider also scored and Luongo finished with 37 saves for the Canucks (6-6-0), who led 2-0 early before losing for the first time in four games.
"Anytime you go up 2-0 at home, we re good enough defensively we should be able to lock that down," Schneider said. "Once you give them opportunities, they re going to finish."
Sedin opened the scoring 30 seconds in, and Ehrhoff scored on a harmless-looking wrist shot at 7:05, ending the night for Detroit goalie Chris Osgood after four shots. Osgood was replaced by Jimmy Howard, who gave up two goals but also made several spectacular stops among his 20 saves for his first win since 2005-06.
"Sometimes when you come in off the bench you really don t have time to think about it much," said Howard, who spent most of the last three seasons in the minors, playing just nine NHL games before losing his first two starts this season. "When you get thrown in there, you just go out there and don't try to overdo anything. Just play the one shooter and let the puck come to you."
Vancouver led 2-1 after 40 minutes before things got crazy in the third period.
Kronwall tied it less than 4 minutes in but Schneider, playing just his second game after offseason shoulder surgery, restored Vancouver's lead just over a minute later with a power-play slap shot from the top of the faceoff circle.
Datsyuk, who also had an assist, tied it again exactly 1 minute after that, cutting inside on Ehrhoff in the high slot and snapping a shot through Luongo's legs. Datsyuk gave Detroit its first lead 3 1/2 minutes later with a power-play shot that bounced off a stick, off the ice and over Luongo's glove.
Canucks C Ryan Johnson was carried off the ice on a stretcher early in the second period after sliding headfirst in the end boards. Johnson, who lost his balance as he tried to step around Lidstrom and chase down his own dump-in, was taken to a hospital for further observation, but a spokesperson said he was alert and had full movement. ... Canucks D Kevin Bieksa had three assists, but was in the penalty box when Datsyuk scored his second goal. ... Detroit sat out C Darren Helm and RW Patrick Eaves, replacing them with LW Brad May and LW Justin Abdelkader.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rogers Arena Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Bill McCreary, David Banfield Linesmen: Brad Lazarowich, Shane Heyer
Attendance: 18,810 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Henrik Sedin (5)
Assists: Mikael Samuelsson, Kevin Bieksa
Christian Ehrhoff (3)
Assists: Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa
Tomas Holmstrom (6)
Assists: Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk
No scoring this period
Niklas Kronwall (2)
Mathieu Schneider (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Henrik Sedin, Kevin Bieksa
Pavel Datsyuk (1)
Assists: Jason Williams, Jonathan Ericsson
Pavel Datsyuk (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Brian Rafalski, Tomas Holmstrom
Henrik Sedin (6)
(Power Play) Assists: Alexander Edler, Ryan Kesler
Jason Williams (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi