Just 12 seconds into Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, a neutral-zone turnover led to the puck being on Dan Carcillo's stick to the right of Chris Osgood. He fired what appeared to be a harmless shot towards Osgood, starting his first game since January 27.
Osgood couldn't handle it.
That goal would prove to be the difference, as the Detroit Red Wings saw their 12-game point-earning streak come to an end with a 4-3 loss to a Flyers team that desperately needs any win they can get in their battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile despite goals from Dan Cleary, Darren Helm, and Pavel Datsyuk, the Red Wings squander one of the two games in hand against the Nashville Predators for the fifth spot in the Western Conference.
Osgood may have made 21 saves, but it was the easy one he missed that could doom any chances for him to redeem himself in the eyes of the coaching staff. Osgood had not won a game in regulation since his 2-0 shutout of the Boston Bruins back on November 3.
The Flyers were chippy from the start, with three different Flyers players getting helmet-removing hits on Datsyuk, Carcillo antagonizing Tomas Holmstrom, and a tentative nature by the Detroit that may have come from playing two games in two days in two cities.
After Carcillo's goal, a sloppy setup by Todd Bertuzzi led to a four-on-two charge by the Flyers. Ian Laperriere (who earned an assist on the Carcillo goal) pushed the puck up, dumped it this time to Kimmo Timonen, who had a wide-open net and didn't miss for his sixth goal, with Brian Boucher getting his first assist of the season.
But the Red Wings would fight back. Niklas Kronwall pushed a bouncing puck towards the crease and Cleary. Cleary's first shot was blocked with the pads by Sebastien Caron. But Cleary remained there and put it back through Caron to earn his 14th.
Then, following a post shot by Cleary and a great second chance by Brian Rafalski, the puck bounced high into the air. After the second bounce, Helm came to a quick stop and fired a backhander that went into the net. It was his 11th of the year.
The Flyers would strike in the first minute of the second period as well. This time, it was a rebound that deflected off a Wings player and went to Claude Giroux. He didn't miss, netting an unassisted tally.
With 2:24 left, Kimmo Timonen found a wide-open Arron Asham to the left of Osgood. Asham put it in forcefully to pick up his 10th of the season. Osgood had absolutely no chance to get to him: he hadn't moved by the time the puck reached Asham.
The Wings would tighten it up in the third. Off a quirky pass, a pair of passes from Henrik Zetterberg and Jason Williams quickly put the puck on Datsyuk's stick, who lit up Caron for his team leading 27th goal of the season and third straight game with a goal.
Caron would ned up with 31 saves for the day to pick up the win.
The Red Wings return home to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
Player Of The Game: Dan Cleary. A goal and an assist within three minutes during the first period was impressive for the Newfoundlander.