Red Wings edge Canucks
|Canucks forward David Booth is knocked to the ice by Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 2, 2012. (BEN NELMS/Reuters)
VANCOUVER - Pavel Datsyuk scored the winner in the shootout as the Detroit Red Wings edged the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, in a battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
Datsyuk faked to the forehand and buried a wrister on Detroit's first chance. After Mason Raymond lost the puck on Vancouver's second opportunity, Jiri Hudler snapped a shot into the net for the win.
Danny Cleary had a goal and an assist while Drew Miller and Hudler also scored for the Red Wings, who have won their first two games after the All-Star break. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 shots in the win.
"We dig ourselves too many holes when we are on the road," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "We can't do that all the time and expect to keep coming back."
Alexandre Burrows, Ryan Kesler and Raymond all scored for the Canucks, who had a three-game winning streak stopped. Roberto Luongo made 40 saves in the loss.
Detroit leads the NHL and the Western Conference with 71 points, while Vancouver is four points back of the top spot.
Cleary made a slick move at the right circle to get away from the defender and move to the slot where he snapped a wrister past Luongo 5:27 in.
Vancouver, though, got it back with 3:47 to play in the first on a shot from down low by Kesler, his 15th goal of the year.
With 6:09 to play in the second, the Red Wings took a 2-1 lead as Valtteri Filppula sent a pass from the right to the left where Hudler buried his chance.
Vancouver tied the game halfway through the third on Burrows' 19th of the season.
Miller gave the Wings the lead back two minutes later as his shot from the left side during a scrum in front snuck in, but the Canucks tied the game with 4:24 to play when a shot by Raymond from the right circle found its way into the net.
"Obviously we didn't have a good first period, played a little better in the second," said Luongo. "We played good in the third and found a way to tie it up, get a point at least."
Detroit plays in Edmonton on Saturday ... Vancouver plays at Colorado on Saturday ... Detroit has won two of three from Vancouver this season.