DENVER - Pavel Datsyuk scored his second goal of the game with 15.4 seconds left in overtime and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Friday night at the Pepsi Center.
Jimmy Howard stopped 32 shots and Gustav Nyquist also had a goal for the Red Wings, who stayed a point ahead of St. Louis in the Western Conference playoff race.
P.A. Parenteau and Mark Olver scored for the Avalanche, who have lost 11 of their last 13.
The Red Wings won it when Henrik Zetterberg, who had two assists, put a soft shot on Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The goalie didn't cover it up and Datsyuk poked it in with defenseman Matt Hunwick pushing him from behind.
The win helped Detroit hold onto the seventh spot in the Western Conference, a rare time in the last 22 seasons the perennial Stanley Cup contenders have needed to fight for a spot in the postseason.
Detroit has made the playoff for 21 straight seasons, eight shy of the NHL record set by the Boston Bruins in the mid-1990s. The Red Wings will have to play well in their last 10 games to hold off Edmonton and a restocked Columbus team that was active at the trade deadline.
The Red Wings did enough against Colorado to keep the Oilers and Blue Jackets at bay. Datsyuk scored on a power play midway through the first period to give them a 1-0 lead.
After Oliver tied it on a breakaway with 8:24 left, Nyquist beat Giguere 13 seconds later to give Detroit the lead right back.
It stayed 2-1 until Parenteau scored when he tipped in a pass from Jamie McGinn with 13:31 left. Colorado, rejuvenated by the goal, controlled the play for most of the third period and had several chances to take a lead but couldn't capitalize.
NOTES: Zetterberg's assist in the first period the 398th of his career. ... The Avalanche have allowed seven power-play goals in 19 home games this season. ... Detroit's Johan Franzen has four assists in the last three games. ... Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey was activated from IR before the game. Quincey was out with facial fractures suffered March 15 against Edmonton. He has missed the last 10 games. ... Avalanche center Paul Stastny continues to be out after suffering a foot injury March 24 against Vancouver. He was placed on IR and was expected to miss 10 days but is approaching his second full week of inaction.