SHARKS 3, RED WINGS 2 (OT): Martin Havlat scored his second goal of the contest at 3:23 of overtime as San Jose edged visiting Detroit for just its fifth win in 17 games.
Joe Pavelski also tallied and Antti Niemi made 26 saves for the Sharks, who have earned at least one point in six of their last seven contests (3-1-3). San Jose is tied with Los Angeles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After All-Star Jimmy Howard denied Justin Braun's rebound attempt, the Sharks defenseman was shoved on top of the netminder by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader, who also landed on the goalie. Havlat took advantage, digging the puck from between Howard's pads and firing it into the vacant net for the winning goal.
It capped Havlat's first two-goal performance since Jan. 19, 2011 while with Minnesota. Havlat was playing in just his second contest following a 39-game absence due to a torn hamstring.
A six-time 20-goal scorer, Havlat has just four tallies in 28 games during his first season with the Sharks.
San Jose wasted little time getting on the board as Pavelski scored his second goal in 11 games just 48 seconds into the game. After his initial shot from the right faceoff circle was blocked, Pavelski regained possession and beat Howard for his career high-tying 25th tally.
Havlat doubled the lead with 1:37 remaining in the opening period when he scored on a wrist shot from the top of the slot.
The two-goal advantage lasted only 23 seconds, however, as Red Wings All-Star Pavel Datsyuk, who was back in the lineup after missing time with an injury, fired the puck under the crossbar from the far side of the bottom of the left circle to halve the deficit.
Datsyuk had been sidelined for 11 games after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
After a scoreless second period, Detroit got even less than 8 1/2 minutes into the third. Valtteri Filppula used a pick by Henrik Zetterberg to skate into the left circle untouched and rifle the puck past Niemi for his 23rd goal. Filppula's tally was his seventh in 12 contests.
Howard stopped 32 shots for the Red Wings, who completed an 0-4-0 road trip with their eighth loss in nine games away from home.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom sat out his ninth consecutive game with a deep bone bruise in his right ankle. ... Detroit also was without right wing Johan Franzen, who was sidelined with back spasms. ... The Sharks have scored three goals or less in each of their last 16 contests. ... The Red Wings have lost five straight on the road, six of seven overall and 14 of 21 against San Jose.