Rookie Dan Sexton and Saku Koivu continued to stay hot, but the Ducks could not hang on to a late lead in Detroit and fell in overtime 3-2.
Anaheim (11-13-7) held a two-goal lead after 40 minutes at Joe Louis Arena before surrendering three unanswered goals to the Red Wings, two (including the game-winner) to former Duck Todd Bertuzzi.
"We had a 2-0 lead going into the third period and in the first two minutes we take an offensive zone penalty 200 feet from our net," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "And then take an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. How can you have a 2-0 lead with those kind of penalties? Just self-destructed."
Sexton and Koivu each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves. The Ducks have lost nine straight on the road. They also took 11 penalties on Friday night.
"We took way too many penalties the entire game," Sexton said. "Five-on-five we had them pretty good."
Bertuzzi tied it midway through the third period and scored a power-play goal 1:07 into overtime to give Detroit the win.
The struggling Red Wings, playing without Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jason Williams, Niklas Kronwall and Dan Cleary because of long-term injuries, are 15-11-5 and out of playoff position in the Western Conference.
"We needed two points. All you've got to do is look at the standings," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We're trying to do everything we can to hang in there."
Bertuzzi beat Giguere high on the short side from the bottom of the right circle, as he skated from behind the net, in overtime.
"I think it's just being in the league for a while and knowing goaltenders and playing with Jiggy," Bertuzzi said, "and knowing he likes to hug the post. There's not a lot of room up there but just enough to squeak it in."
Tomas Holmstrom also scored, and Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots for Detroit.
Bertuzzi tied it at 2 at 9:36 of the third, banking a shot in off Giguere's skate from the right corner.
Holmstrom's power-play goal 2:17 into the third put Detroit on the board. He put in a one-time shot from the slot for his 12th goal and broke the Red Wings' 102:24 overall scoreless drought and 142:18 dry spell at Joe Louis Arena.
It came 36 seconds after Ahaheim's Ryan Getzlaf took a hooking penalty deep in the Red Wings' zone.
Koivu opened the scoring at 8:05 of the middle period with his fifth goal when he tipped in Sexton's pass. Sexton's goal came with 55 seconds left in the second when his harmless looking shot from the right corner deflected in off Howard's stick.
It was Sexton's third career goal, all coming in the last two games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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