Darren Helm scores winner in 8th round of shootout; Red Wings beat Wild 3-2



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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Darren Helm didn't expect to have the game on his stick eight rounds into a shootout. Yet it was his goal that gave Detroit a crucial extra point.

Helm, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan scored in a long shootout, and the Red Wings outlasted the Minnesota Wild 3-2 Saturday night.

"I wasn't really thinking my number was going to be called quite yet," Helm said.

Given the opportunity, he came down the slot, cut to his forehand and let go with a low wrist shot. Officials on the ice ruled that Devan Dubnyk stopped the puck in time; however, video review showed the stop came after the puck crossed the goal line.

"I was looking shot there for a while and didn't really have anything," said Helm, who has 13 goals this season. "Luckily it went it. It was questionable there for a minute. They took a good look at it and obviously it went in, so I'm pretty happy."

Nyquist and Sheahan also scored in regulation for Detroit, which ended a three-game slide and is 2-3-2 in its past seven. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots.

"We played a solid game," captain Henrik Zetterberg said.

Detroit and Boston remained tied for third place in the Atlantic Division, three points ahead of Ottawa. The Red Wings and Senators have played one fewer game than the Bruins.

"I thought he stepped up in the shootout, and that was key for us," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said about Helm. "Obviously we needed another point. Both Boston and Ottawa won tonight, so it was key that we found a way to get points."

Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek had shootout goals for Minnesota.

Zach Parise scored twice in regulation for the Wild, who played without captain Mikko Koivu. The center participated in warmups but was a late scratch with a scratched cornea.

Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said Koivu should be "absolutely fine" by the team's next game on Monday.

Making his 36th consecutive start, Dubnyk had 20 saves.

Minnesota — 24-6-2 since the All-Star break — has lost consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 19 and 20. The New York Rangers won 3-2 in Minnesota on Thursday.

"Any point you get right now is big," Yeo said.

Parise wasn't as accepting of the result.

"I feel like we should have won the game. That's disappointing to not get the second one."

Minnesota has a four-point lead on Winnipeg for the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Jets, who beat Vancouver 5-4 on Saturday, play at Minnesota on Monday.

Parise tied the game 2-all with a power-play goal at 6:33 of the third period, tipping a shot from Pominville between the pads of Howard for his team-leading 32nd of the season.

In its past 20 games, Minnesota has outscored opponents 30-8 in the third period.

"I thought as the game went along we were definitely better," Pominville said. "The first couple periods weren't good enough. In the third we were the team that we need to be to win games."

A Detroit miscue led to Minnesota taking a 1-0 lead at 14:09 of the first. Pominville intercepted an errant clearing pass by Tomas Tatar and quickly passed to Mikael Granlund in the right circle. His centering attempt was tipped in by Parise standing in front of the Red Wings net.

The lead lasted less than two minutes because Sheahan was in front to poke home the rebound of Stephen Weiss' shot from the half boards.

Detroit didn't manage a second-period shot until more than 13 minutes elapsed, but scored the period's lone goal when Nyquist took a pass from Zetterberg low in the left circle, quickly shifted the puck to his forehand and lifted a shot over Dubnyk's left shoulder.

NOTES: C Pavel Datsyuk was back in the Detroit lineup after missing the previous two games and seven of nine with an ankle injury. ... Red Wings G Petr Mrazek, who started the previous four games, is expected to start Sunday at home against Washington. ... Minnesota D Nate Prosser returned after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. ... Detroit finished the season 12-0-2 against Central Division opponents.

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