The Detroit Red Wings come up with a huge 2 points against the Edmonton Oilers, winning 2-1 in a shootout.
For Edmonton being the 2nd worst defensive team in the league, this game was quite a defensive battle. The lone goal in the first period would be scored by Riley Sheahan at 13:53, when Tomas Tatar took the puck behind Viktor Fasth’s net, and put a quick feed out in front to a waiting Sheahan who wristed it home for the 1-0 lead. Shots through one period ended at 8-6 in favor of the Oilers.
The second period was a tightly contested defensive battle between the teams. No more offense would be mustered until the third, when the Oilers got themselves on the board on a very bad break for the Wings. At 8:43, Brendan Smith attempted a blind pass behind and to the side of Jimmy Howard. He ended up putting the puck on the stick of Ryan Smyth, who quickly wristed the puck top-corner over Howard to tie the game 1-1. That would remain the score through the end of regulation, and eventually the end of overtime, despite a 4-on-3 power play for Detroit during the overtime period. Shots through 65 minutes ended at 23-22 in favor of Detroit.
Todd Bertuzzi would shoot first for Detroit. He made a fake slapper coming in on Fasth, but missed the net with the second attempt. Jordan Eberle would shoot first for Edmonton, coming in patiently on Howard and making some quick moves. He’d ultimately send the puck off the side of the net, for his first shootout miss in 8 attempts. Daniel Alfredsson shot next for the Wings, coming in quickly on Fasth and attempting to go over his glove, but didn’t get it high enough. David Perron was the second shooter for Edmonton. He came in with a slow attempt on Howard, but he would come up with the glove save. Tatar was the final shooter for Detroit. He made some quick moves in close on Fasth, cutting at the last moment to his forehand and putting it up past him and in the net for the lone goal of the shootout. It was up to Howard to stop Taylor Hall’s attempt, but Hall would end up sending the puck wide of the net, sealing the 2-1 victory for Detroit.
This was a huge win for them, keeping them right in the thick of the playoff hunt. The only big criticism I’d have for them tonight would be the power play, which looked absolutely anemic for the vast majority of the night, failing to even gain entry most of the time. They need to get that to start clicking soon so that they can pull off the big wins in the games ahead. The next matchup is Sunday night against former divisional rival, Chicago Blackhawks. See you then, Nation!