Detroit ended a three-game losing streak.
The Oilers took a 2-0 lead into the third period in a bid to win their third in a row, but surrendered the lead and then surrendered the game when Datsyuk snapped a wrist shot past Devan Dubnyk.
Valtteri Filppula scored on a backhander 4:27 into the third to cut the Detroit deficit in half and Niklas Kronwall tied it on the power play with 5:53 to go in regulation.
Howard made 32 saves while Dubnyk surrendered the three goals on 28 shots.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Julius Randle breaks leg during NBA debut