Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) scores on Detroit Red Wings goalie Joey MacDonald (31) in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Monday, March 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
DETROIT - Marian Hossa scored against the Detroit Red Wings for the first time since leaving them to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks.
He was happier about the extra point it gave the defending champions.
Hossa scored on a power play 51 seconds into overtime, lifting Chicago to a 3-2 road win on Monday night.
"We are real desperate to get points," Hossa said.
The Blackhawks improved their precarious playoff positioning with their third win in four games. They moved three points ahead of idle Calgary and remained one back of seventh-place Anaheim, which rallied to beat Colorado 5-4 late Monday.
"Definitely a different year," Chicago's Jonathan Toews said.
Henrik Zetterberg was called for hooking Patrick Kane with 3.7 seconds left, putting Chicago on the power play to begin the extra session. The Blackhawks took advantage on Hossa's shot from the left circle off a pass from Kane.
Zetterberg agreed with the call and thought it was a fitting end to Hossa's night.
"He had a real good game," Zetterberg said. "I'm not surprised he scored the game-winner."
The Blackhawks improved to 15-6-4 in March and February after barely being over .500 in each of the first four months of the season, giving their salary-cap depleted team a shot to defend the Stanley Cup when the playoffs start in two weeks.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville acknowledged the latest win was important.
"None bigger all year," he said. "That was a huge win, coming off a very disappointing loss. It was a playoff game for us."
The Red Wings, meanwhile, are in a 1-2-2 slump that has trimmed their cushion to six points in the Central Division over Nashville with six games left for both teams.
Toews and Brent Seabrook scored in the first period to give Chicago a 2-1 lead that held up until Danny Cleary was credited with a goal early in the third that was later given to Zetterberg, who scored the second tying goal of the game on a shot that went off Chicago defenceman Chris Campoli.
"We kind of hung in there," Detroit's Mike Modano said.
Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom made it 1-all in the first period and became the NHL's first 40-year-old defenceman with 60 points in a season. He surpassed the mark set by Ray Bourque, who had 59 points as a 40-year-old defenceman during the 2000-01 season—his last—with the Colorado Avalanche.
"It's a tribute to his career and consistency," said Modano, who is also 40 years old.
Corey Crawford made 33 saves for the Blackhawks.
Detroit's Joey MacDonald stopped 38 shots while starting in place of Jimmy Howard, who might play with his injured left shoulder Wednesday at home against the St. Louis Blues.
"Mac played great, but our play without the puck was not the best," Modano said.
Both teams were missing one of their leading scorers.
Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk was out for a fifth straight game with a lower body injury and Chicago's Patrick Sharp for the third game in a row with an injured left knee that might keep him out for the rest of the regular season.
The Red Wings had to play much of the night without Todd Bertuzzi, who was called for a five-minute elbowing penalty and a game misconduct for hitting Ryan Johnson in the head 5:17 into the game.
"They're trying to eliminate hits to the head," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I guess they felt his helmet came off, there must've been a hit to the head."
Johnson went down to his knees and gloves for a while before slowly getting up. He went off the ice and toward the dressing room, but played later in the first period.
After being checked for a concussion, Johnson said he felt fine and wasn't upset with Bertuzzi.
"I don't think it was malicious," Johnson said. "He was very apologetic."
After a scoreless second period, the Red Wings got some puck luck when Zetterberg's shot got past Crawford 2:25 into the third.
Both teams had plenty of scoring chances the rest of the game, but Crawford and MacDonald held up for the rest of regulation.
"It was a big point getting into overtime and a bigger point getting the win," Kane said.
NOTES: Hossa, in his second season with the Blackhawks after one year with the Red Wings, hadn't scored against Detroit since his hat trick on Jan. 15, 2008, while playing for Atlanta. ... Chicago has won three of four against Detroit heading into their home-and-home series on April 8 and 10 that ends the regular season. ... MacDonald was sent to the minors and recalled twice this month because Chris Osgood was unable to come back from hernia surgery. ... The Blackhawks scratched Dave Bolland for the seventh straight game because of a concussion. ... Detroit's Johan Franzen returned to the lineup after missing four games with a groin injury and whiffed on two scoring chances on a sequence late in regulation.