Edmonton at Detroit (3/30/10)

The woefully bad Edmonton Oilers were in town tonight to face the Wings. As bad as the Oilers have been this year, they seem to have had Detroit’s number so it was important for the Wings to start on time and not underestimate their opponent. The goalies were Jimmy Howard and Jeff Deslauriers. There were a few milestones in this game. Datsyuk was playing in his 600th and Zetterberg was in his 500th. Congrats to those guys!

The Oilers seemed to have a bit of confidence in the first few minutes of the game but the Red Wings stepped it up and had several scoring chances early. Then Filppula fired from the point with Bertuzzi and Lilja (of all people) going to the net. It looked like the puck hit Lilja right on the winged wheel and went in the net. It was a rare offensive move by Lilja and it worked out great for the Red Wings. They were up one to nothing. The goal was credited to Filppula but Lilja seemed to think it was his.

A little bit later Franzen was maneuvering with the puck and got it back to Kronwall who was standing all alone in the slot. He one timed it and beat the Deslauriers for the goal making it two to nothing Red Wings.

Nearly at the end of the period there was a delayed penalty coming to the Oilers. Miller chipped it into the corner and Williams dug it out. He threw it back to Miller in the slot and he fired it on net and scored making it three to nothing at the end of the first period.

During the first intermission they changed the first goal from Filppula to Lilja. It was also announced the Penner, who had left the bench after being hit in the face with a puck, would not return.

As bad as the Oilers were playing it could have been a lot worse. Deslauriers made several incredible saves.

Towards the end of the second period the Red Wings were on another power play. Holmstrom had the puck behind the net and centered it to Franzen who was left wide open. He ripped it and scored to give the Wings the four to nothing lead.

A few seconds later Filppula was called for interference. The faceoff was won back to Gilbert with a bunch of traffic in front. Gilbert ripped it and Howard wasn’t able to pick it up in time and they scored. That made it four to one with about three minutes left in the period.

Less than a minute after that goal Comrie received a pass entering the zone. He faked a shot and then put it between Howard’s legs for another quick goal. Just like that the Oilers were right back in it.

Early in the third period the Oilers shot and Howard dove out of position. Stortini got the puck and tried the wrap around. He banked it off Howard and into the net. Suddenly the Oilers were one shot away from tying the game.

Just past the halfway point of the third period Rafalski got knocked down in the corner and Cogliano came away with the puck and took it behind the net. He passed it to Gilbert in the slot who one timed before Howard could stop it. That tied the game with the Oilers’ fourth unanswered goal.

It seemed like the Wings had lost their will to win this game. Jimmy Howard was forced to make some great saves just to keep it tied. They obviously experience a letdown after getting such a comfortable lead but the Oilers refused to go away.

The Wings got their jump back and were pressuring but Deslauriers was playing great. With 1:07 left Detroit finally broke the tie. Datsyuk shot the puck and Stuart tipped it down. Deslauriers was jumping and the puck went down and under him into the net. It was nearly a high stick by Stuart so it was reviewed extensively but the call on the ice was upheld. The Wings had the lead back again.

The Oilers pulled their goalie. Lidstrom was called for holding but by the time the Wings touched the puck there was only 10 seconds left in the game. The faceoff went to the corner and the Red Wings tied it up until time ran out.

They were very lucky to get two points tonight. They got too far ahead too early in this game and then became a little bit complacent. But hey, it’s a win and it’s two points were are crucial as the Wings are now battling Nashville for the fifth playoff spot.

This 4-5 win brings us to:
93 points

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