Detroit at Edmonton (3/19/10)

After a relatively long break, the Red Wings were on the road tonight to play the abysmal Edmonton Oilers. They’re the worst team in the league. Of course that opened up the possibility that the Red Wings could underestimate them. Jimmy Howard was in net for the Wings and for the Oilers it was Devan Dubnyk.

Less than a minute into the game the Oilers scored. It was a dump in that Penner received behind the Red Wings net. He passed it out front where Brule caught it and sent it to Cogliano at the other side of the net. He one timed it and scored giving the Oilers the early lead one to nothing.

After the goal the Oilers continued to pile it on. The Red Wings looked flat and seemed overwhelmed by the Oilers offense. Jimmy Howard was peppered with one shot after another. He was making some great stops but there was no way it could last long. Ryan Whitney took the puck to the slot and was left all alone. Brule was in front of the net blocking Howard’s view. Whitney shot the puck and beat Howard and just like that the Oilers were up two to nothing.

Babcock took his timeout after that but didn’t say a word to the team.

The Wings looked pretty bad in the first period. The Oilers had all the jump and Red Wings looked tired. Detroit had only 9 shots on goal to Edmonton’s 16.

In the second period the Wings put together a few good shifts in a row and built some momentum. Helm dumped the puck in and Draper chased it down behind the net. Helm continued through the slot to the front of the net. Eaves moved up to about the faceoff dot and Draper passed it back to him. Eaves one-timed a bullet and beat Dubnyk to put the Wings on the board.

The second period was much better than the first for the Red Wings. There weren’t many shots on goal in the second but at least the Wings had more than the Oilers, 5 to 4.

In the third period it was announced that Eaves had left the game with an upper body injury. He had been hit hard early in the second period but he stayed in the game and even scored the Wings’ first goal so it seemed like he was alright. Apparently something was wrong though and he didn’t finish the game.

The Red Wings continued to pressure well during the third period. They were really outshooting the Oilers and controlling the game but not scoring. It got towards the end and they pulled their goalie. As time was winding down the puck was trapped in the corner. Edmonton was just trying to sit on it to kill off the time and Zetterberg was battling for it. The puck squirted out and Datsyuk grabbed it. He passed it to Rafalski who was right on the doorstep. Rafalski buried it with 0.3 seconds left in the game. It was incredibly close. It was really unbelievable. So the Wings tied it up and guaranteed themselves a point.

After the perfunctory faceoff to finish off the final fraction of a second the game went to overtime. Nothing much happened in the OT. It ended with no winner so the game headed to a shootout.

The first shooter was Potulny for the Oilers. He made some nice fakes, waited until the last moment and got the puck up and over Howard’s pads and in. Datsyuk was up first for the Wings. He made a nice move, too, but his shot hit the goalpost. Brule was up next. He fired one over the glove and in before Howard could react. Williams came up next, faked and scored on Dubnyk with nice shot to keep hope alive. Nilsson came up for the Oilers and Howard stopped him with the glove. It was up Filppula to tie it up for the Wings. He made a few moves and shot but Dubnyk stopped him.

The Red Wings had to settle for a single point tonight but really they were lucky to get that. After essentially taking the first period off they still managed to come back and get a point. They played pretty well in the second and third periods but that’s not enough to deserve a win. It’s a good thing they got the point though because Nashville and Calgary just keep winning. That point will keep the Flames from pulling ahead of the Wings. Their points are tied now but the Wings are still in eighth because they have a game in hand.

This 2-3 overtime loss brings us to:
34-23-13
81 points

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