DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings are playing with desperation in trying to make the playoffs these days.
Their desperation earned them an improbable win Thursday night.
Right winger Daniel Alfredsson's goal with .04 seconds left in overtime gave Detroit a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena.
"It was amazing. A great two points. A great game," said Red Wings left winger Tomas Tatar, who scored a goal in the game.
Alfredsson's game winner came when his rebound bounced in off Pittsburgh defenseman Rob Scuderi for Alfredsson's 17th goal of the season and second of the game.
"I saw it. I didn't know there was just a few seconds left, but I know I didn't hear the horn go off before the puck went in so I thought it would be good," Alfredsson said. "Big break for us, rebound goes off their D and in so we'll gladly take it today."
The goal was confirmed by video review.
It was the third Red Wings' goal to go in off a Penguins' defenseman. Right winger Gustav Nyquist had a goal that also went in off Scuderi and winger Todd Bertuzzi's goal went in off defenseman Olli Maatta.
"I feel like the bad bounces always go in our net, but we didn't have many tonight," Tatar said. "Tonight, they went in their net."
Alfredsson also added an assist for Detroit (32-24-13). Defenseman Danny DeKeyser had two assists and goaltender Jimmy Howard made 39 saves in the win.
Center Evgeni Malkin scored twice and right wingers Lee Stempniak and Craig Adams scored for Pittsburgh (45-19-5). Wingers James Neal and Jussi Jokinen each had two assists and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots.
In addition to the goals going in off their players, the Penguins were also burned by a rare interference penalty to Neal for pushing a stick -- that was on the ice -- away from Detroit center Luke Glendening.
"It's pretty rare (the Neal penalty that ended a power play)," center Sidney Crosby said. "But so's a butt end. And so is a puck going (our net) off our guy three times."
Crosby was referring to Red Wings center David Legwand butt-ending Malkin with 3:46 left in regulation. Legwand earned a five-minute major and a game misconduct, so Pittsburgh had a 5-on-4 power-play advantage for the last 3:46 of regulation and a 4-on-3 the first 1:14 of the overtime period and could not capitalize.
"We should be able to put it away with that five-minute major," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "They killed it off, and they came back."
Adams goal with 4:17 left in regulation tied the game at 4. His fifth goal and first in 65 games came on a one-timer from in front.
Tatar's goal 9:59 into the third tied it at 3 with the teams playing 4-on4. He chipped in center Riley Sheahan's cross-ice pass for Tatar's 15th goal. Bertuzzi gave the Red Wings the lead just 2:18 later when his attempted pass from the left boards went in off Maatta. It was Bertuzzi's ninth goal.
The Penguins scored three goals in 2:41 late in the second period to take a 3-2 lead.
Stempniak put Pittsburgh on the board with 4:43 left in the middle period when he tipped in left winger Chris Kunitz' shot. It was Stempniak's 10th of the season and second goal and fourth point in two games.
Malkin's first goal of the game, and 20th of the season, tied the game 25 seconds later when he put a shot in off Howard from beside the net. Malkin then gave the Penguins the lead with 2:02 left in the second with a 5-on-3 power-play goal.
Nyquist had given the Red Wings a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal 4:35 into the middle period with his 20th goal. It was his fourth goal in three games and 15th since Jan. 20, which leads the league.
Alfredsson opened the scoring 7:21 into the game when he cut into the slot and ripped a wrist shot past Fleury.
NOTES: Detroit played its first game without D Jonathan Ericsson, who suffered a broken finger in Tuesday night's 3-2 win over Toronto. He had surgery and will miss at least two weeks. ... Penguins RW James Neal played his 400th game. He also played junior hockey with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, who are based in suburban Detroit. ... The Red Wings assigned D Adam Almquist to their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. ... Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is from Grand Haven, which is in the western part of Michigan. ... Pittsburgh LW Kris Kunitz played college hockey at Ferris State University, which is located in the west Michigan city of Big Rapids. ... Detroit D Jakub Kindls played his 200th game.