Detroit at Edmonton (10/29/09)

The Red Wings faced the Edmonton Oilers tonight on the fourth game of their five game road trip. Jimmy Howard got the start for tonight’s game after a great win in the last game against Vancouver. Khabibulin was the goalie for the Oilers. Eaves and Helm were back in for this game; Maltby and Abdelkader were out.

The Oilers were battling the flu as one player was confirmed having the Swine flu and eight others had flu like symptoms. The Wings took all possible precautions to prevent catching it. They sprayed down all the surfaces in their dressing room and used some special mouthwash. Everybody was trying to avoid shaking hands with people and they were also being careful to wash their hands often. Hopefully that’ll be enough.

The Oilers came into this game basically unable to score. In their last three games they only had two goals. They needed 42 seconds to score against the Red Wings. In that time they had three great scoring chances. Howard made two fantastic saves but he was out of position after the second one and the rebound was put into the net by Jacques. It wasn’t Howard’s fault. He made a great save and the Red Wings defense didn’t help him out at all.

Then Stuart put a huge hit on Ganger. It was a clean hit but Peckham came in and tried to start fighting with Stuart. Peckham ended up getting called for roughing and the Red Wings went on the power play.

After one of the commercial breaks Ken Daniels described a tradition that I’d never heard of but it was something I thought was just so cool. The tradition apparently was started 50 years ago by Red Wings trainer Lefty Wilson and it’s still going to this day. It’s meant to emphasize the point that you win as a team and you lose as individuals. So the next game after a win the jerseys are hung up with team logo face forward and after a loss they’re hung up the other way, with player’s names facing forward. What a great way to visually point out the importance of teamwork. I love it!

Later in the first period Zetterberg made a good play on Penner to force him to the corner but he got the puck back to Horcoff who quickly shot it. Howard stopped the shot but he didn’t control the rebound and Penner stepped up and knocked it into the net. That gave the Oilers a two nothing lead.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi was called for hooking. On the power play Hemsky shot one over Howard’s glove hand and into the top corner of the net. The Oilers were moving the puck at will and Howard had to move back and forth across the crease so he wasn’t set for the shot. That made it three to nothing Oilers.

About one minute into the second period Hemsky took off on a breakaway after a Red Wings turnover. He beat Howard for the Oilers’ fourth goal of the night. It was not looking good for the Red Wings.

A few minutes later Helm took the puck into the zone and ripped one from the top of the circle. He beat Khabibulin to break the ice for the Red Wings and make it four to one Oilers.

Later in the second period the Oilers had a power play. There was a big pile up in front of the net. The officials felt that Howard never covered the puck so there was no whistle. Eventually the puck ended up in the net. Five to one Oilers.

Then Filppula was run into the boards hard and went straight off the ice. That was a huge loss for the Red Wings as he’s been one of the few players who’s been consistently effective.

Then Zetterberg shot the puck from along the boards. It hit Khabibulin in the skates and bounced out. It then hit Chorney in the skates and bounced into the net. It was a lucky break for the Wings but it was still five to two Oilers.

In the third period Draper backhanded a pass to Ericsson who ripped one from the point and beat Khabibulin. It was a heck of a shot and it brought the Wings to within two goals.

A couple of seconds later Datsyuk fed Bertuzzi with Holmstrom in front of Khabibulin. Bertuzzi shot from the slot area into the top corner of the net. Suddenly the Red Wings were within one goal of tying the game with over 12 minutes left to go.

A few minutes later Patrick Eaves scored his first goal as a Red Wing in a very timely fashion. It was a beauty of a shot. Helm took it into the zone and drew the attention of two Oilers. He dropped it off for Eaves who had to fight to control it and somehow got off a great shot through everyone that burned Khabibulin for the game tying goal.

The Red Wings continued to pressure and nearly scored the game winning goal several times. Khabibulin thwarted them every time until regulation time ran out. The Wings got a point that was pretty much the definition of stolen. Talk about turning it on late in the game.

During the overtime period the Red Wings’ attack continued. They had many chances but couldn’t score. At the other end Howard stayed strong supported by some great play by Lidstrom and others. The game headed to a shootout.

Gagner was the first shooter and Howard stonewalled him. Jason Williams went next. It was close but Khabibulin got a piece of it and stopped him from scoring. Hemsky was next for the Oilers. He made some moves but Howard didn’t bite and stopped it. Datsyuk made a few small head fakes and shot but Khabibulin didn’t buy it. Patrick O’Sullivan was next. He hit the post and then it went in. Zetterberg was next for the Wings needing a goal to stay alive. He shot and Khabibulin stopped it for the win.

The Red Wings only got one point but they have to feel good about even getting that. To come back and tie this game was quite an accomplishment.

Filppula never returned to the game. His injury was described as an upper body injury. Hopefully it won’t be anything long term.

This 5-6 overtime loss brings us to:
11 points

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