Edmonton at Detroit (3/11/11)

The Edmonton Oilers played the Red Wings tonight at Joe Louis Arena. The starting goalies were Jimmy Howard and Devan Dubnyk. Rafalski was still out with back spasms.

The Oilers have been hit with a bunch of injuries this season and they have the worst record in the league. That being said, they can still win a game on any given night especially when they play tight defense, their goalie stands on his head and their opponent gets lulled into complacency. Edmonton played a 1-3-1 defense for most of the night so there was no room for Detroit coming through the neutral zone. It was a frustrating night for the Wings.

In the first period Ryan Jones shot the puck and it looked like it was going wide. Instead it hit the inside of Howard’s right leg and deflected into the net giving the Oilers the lead one to nothing.

For almost the entire rest of the game the Red Wings tried to tie it up and the Oilers just stuck to them like glue. Even through many power play opportunities the Wings could not score. Dubnyk was incredible. He was very big in the net and his positioning was excellent. He stopped everything. The only thing that got by him was a shot from the point that Bertuzzi reached down for apparently trying to catch it. It deflected off his glove and into the net but the goal was disallowed because of the fact that he reached out for it. Even though it didn’t look like an intentional redirection, they ruled that it WAS intentional just because he reached for it. It was an interesting call and will probably spark a lot of debate.

At the end of the game the Wings pulled the goalie. Lidstrom finally broke Dubnyk’s shutout with a shot from the point with just 25 seconds left on the clock. That tied it up and sent the game to overtime.

With just 42 seconds left in the overtime Datsyuk got the puck. He went left to right across the slot with his defender laid out for a block. Datsyuk dangled and waited for him to slide by. Then he fired a wrister that somehow made it through a bunch of people and found the back of the net.

So after trailing almost the entire game the Red Wings came away with the win. Dubnyk played very well and deserved a better fate, but I’m glad he didn’t get it. The Wings needed this win as they try to break out of the slump they’ve been in lately. They head to St. Louis now where the Blues are home and waiting to play them tomorrow night.

This 1-2 win brings us to:
40-20-8
88 points

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