VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Jiri Hudler scored the only goal of the shootout and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Saturday night in a matchup of Western Conference powerhouses.
Johan Franzen tied it for Detroit on a power-play breakaway 42 seconds into the third period, and Hudler sent a low slap shot past Roberto Luongo's blocker on the first shootout attempt.
Jimmy Howard, who made 34 saves through overtime, stopped Jeff Tambellini, Ryan Kesler and Daniel Sedin in the shootout for the Red Wings. Detroit snapped the Canucks' eight-game winning streak.
Despite the loss, Vancouver remained atop the NHL standings with 60 points, one more than Detroit and three ahead of Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia.
Daniel Sedin scored a second-period, power-play goal, and Luongo made 32 saves for the Canucks, who haven't lost in regulation in 16 games (13-0-3) — dating to Dec. 5. Vancouver is 17-1-3 in its last 21 games, but two of the losses come against the Red Wings — including a 5-4 overtime decision in Detroit on Dec. 22.
Things were a lot tighter Saturday between the league's top two scoring teams, perhaps because both clubs played Friday.
Tambellini shot wide after the puck rolled off his backhand attempt on a breakaway with two minutes left in overtime, and Detroit's Niklas Kronwall had a goal waved off with 24.5 seconds left because Todd Bertuzzi bowled over Luongo.
Howard started for the second straight night for the injury-riddled Red Wings, who lost top-pair defenseman Brad Stuart to a broken jaw Friday in Calgary.
Chris Osgood was scheduled to start in goal but a nagging groin injury forced Howard to play again. Howard made a spectacular save four minutes in.
Henrik Sedin's 180-foot pass bounced off the end boards to twin brother Daniel, who was streaking in alone behind the Detroit defense. His quick deke to the backhand left Howard on his backside, but the goalie reached back with his glove and picked the shot out of the air over the goal line. Video replay confirmed that a goal wasn't scored.
Howard made two more great saves on Daniel Sedin in the first period, and got a break when Keith Ballard hit a post six minutes into the second. Daniel scored his 25th goal into an empty net with 7:51 left in the second after Henrik Sedin's shot from the right circle caromed to the other side.
Franzen tied it on the first shift of the third.
NOTES: Detroit LW Henrik Zetterberg has five goals and nine assists during a 10-game point streak. ... Osgood will leave the team to have his injured groin examined by a specialist in Philadelphia. ... Stuart doesn't need surgery, but will be out 6-to-8 weeks. Rookie D Jakub Kindl took his place and played his third game in two months. ... The Red Wings also lost Valterri Filppula to a groin injury Tuesday, and are without forwards Pavel Datsyuk (hand), Dan Cleary (ankle) and Mike Modano (wrist). ... Vancouver's Alain Vigneault will coach at the NHL All-Star game because the Canucks lead the West at the season's midway point.