Edmonton at Detroit (2/7/09)

This afternoon the Edmonton Oilers came to town to face the Red Wings. Roloson was in net for the Oilers and Conklin got the start for the Wings. Leino was back in for this game looking to keep his point per game streak alive. The Oilers were missing Horcoff, Gilbert and Visnovsky due to injuries. Of course Holmstrom is out long term for hernia surgery. He’s expected back sometime in March.

The game started out with a frantic pace. Then Roloson took one of the cheapest shots I’ve ever seen. Cleary was in front of the net with his back to Roloson waiting to try for a deflection. Roloson brought his stick up between Cleary’s legs and hit him right in the crotch. There’s no excuse for that. I hope he gets suspended and fined. There’s no way it was an accident, he knew exactly what he was doing. Obviously he wanted to send a message early on and make Cleary hesitant to work in front of the net. The good news is that the referee saw it and called a penalty. Half way through the power play the Red Wings made Roloson sorry for being such an ass. They were moving the puck well between Leino and Hudler. The puck came back to Rafalski at the point and he rifled it into the back of the net. Maybe that’ll help Roloson learn to keep his stick to himself.

Just 1:31 later Detroit scored one of the prettiest goals I’ve seen in a while. Draper entered the Edmonton zone with the puck and had Lebda just flying up the middle. Draper hit Lebda with a perfect pass right in front of the net. Lebda just had to deflect it into the corner. It was timed so well that he didn’t have to slow down or handle the puck or anything. It was not the most likely two to pair up for a pretty goal but they both have speed and they used it on that play. That’s a little more karma for Roloson.

Edmonton called their timeout after Detroit’s second goal. The timeout didn’t help the Oilers. A few minutes later Cleary got his own share of revenge on Roloson. It was right off the face-off and Datsyuk got the puck back to Kronwall at the point. He sent it to the front of the net. Roloson was way out at the top of the crease ready for the shot from Kronwall but instead he passed it to Cleary who came from the other side and got in behind Roloson. Cleary tapped the puck in for the Red Wings third goal in less than six minutes.

A bit later Detroit went on the power play again. Kronwall shot the puck from the blue line and Hossa redirected it in the middle of the slot. Roloson never had a chance. That made it four to nothing with about seven minutes left in the first.

With about two minutes left in the first Zetterberg stole the puck from one of the Oilers. He and Datsyuk started up ice. Zetterberg passed to Datsyuk in front of the net and Datsyuk tipped it in giving the Wings their fifth unanswered goal of the first period.

Franzen was hit in the hand by a shot in the first period. He came back and played after that but at some point he left the bench and went to the dressing room. They said his return was questionable.

Roloson was out after the first period although none of the goals were really his fault. I think they just replaced him out of mercy. The backup goaltender Deslauriers started the second period.

The second period was relatively uneventful. Through most of it there were no goals but with about six seconds left Lidstrom scored with a hard shot from the top of the circle. That made it six to nothing. The Red Wings had a lot of chances in the second but Deslauriers made some good saves. At the other end Conklin also made some really good saves to keep the Oilers off the scoreboard.

Early in the third period Edmonton broke the shutout. Stortini had the puck behind the net and he wrapped around with it. He took the shot which took a bad bounce and went in off Conklin’s arm.

A few minutes later Penner scored scored the second goal for the Oilers. He first kicked it so it wouldn’t have counted if it went straight in. However, Conklin got a piece of it and it bounced up into the air. Penner then hit it in with his stick so it was a good goal.

Later in the third Edmonton scored again. Pouliot picked the top corner where there wasn’t much room and roofed it perfectly knocking the water bottle to the ice.

Then a few minutes later Samuelsson stole the puck and caught the Oilers changing. He went one on one against the goalie and beat him. That made it seven to three Red Wings.

Fourteen seconds later Maltby wound up and shot one from the point. Leino tipped it in front of the net and scored. That continued Leino’s point per game pace and made it eight to three.

That was it for this game. The Red Wings looked awesome. They kind of let up a little bit in the third but I’m sure it’s hard to keep the intensity level high when you know you don’t really need to. It’s a good thing they had such a big lead because that gave them the chance to rest some of their key players. That’s important because they play in Pittsburgh Sunday at 12:30. That’s not much time to rest between games.

This 3-8 win brings us to:
34-11-7
75 points

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