Detroit at Edmonton (11/20/08)

For tonight’s game the Red Wings faced the Oilers in Edmonton.  Osgood started in net for the Wings and Roloson played again for the Oilers.  Kronwall was out with a “lower body” injury.  Meech was available to play for him.  Holmstrom was a last minute scratch due to back spasms and had no replacement so the Wings played a man short in his absence.  Cleary was out as well still dealing with his scratched cornea.

Also, Larry Murphy was not availble in the broadcast booth because his daughter had been in a car accident the day before and he wanted to stay with her during surgery.  She’s expected to make a full recovery.  We wish her all the best.  Craig Simpson sat in for Larry in the booth.

The Red Wings started the first period with excellent intensity.  They pressured non-stop and it resulted in an early goal.  Lilja shot from the point and the rebound came to Hudler who put it in the net on the very first shot on goal.

Before the halfway point of the first period Detroit struck again.  They scored a power play goal when Datsyuk released a shot with Kopecky in front of the net taking Holmstrom’s spot.  Kopecky blocked Roloson’s view of the shot and was awarded the goal at the time but it was later changed to Datsyuk.  Either way it gave the Wings an early two goal lead.

Just a few minutes later Detroit went on the power play again.  Six second into it Detroit scored.  Again it was Kopecky in front of the net.  This time there was no question that he deflected the shot which was released by Lidstrom.

That marked the end of the game for Roloson.  He was replaced by Mathieu Garon.

During the first period Osgood made some good saves to keep the Oilers down.  However, Ozzie’s performance was out shined by the save that Draper made.  He knocked a puck out of mid air just before it would have crossed the goal line.  Souray shot it and it Ozzie got a piece of it but it got past him.  Draper there to make the save in what will probably be a highlight defensive play.

Near the end of the first period there was a mini fight between Lilja and Souray.  There were no punches landed and it wasn’t very excited but I guess it’s the thought that counts.

Somehow the Oilers ended up out shooting the Wings in the first period even though they were totally dominated.  A three goal lead still makes for an exciting game especially considering how the Red Wings have been blowing leads this season.  It’s certainly no guarantee.

The second period moved along mostly uneventfully.  Towards the end of the period the Oilers scored power play goal.  This was a power play created by the second penalty of the night to Nick Lidstrom who had previously been unpenalized so far this season.

The Oilers’ comeback didn’t last long as the Red Wings soon scored another power play goal.  This was another case of a shot hitting the back boards and coming right to Hudler in front of the net.  He made no mistake poking it in around the goaltender to bring the Wings back to a three goal lead.

A little bit past the halfway point of the third period the Oilers score again.  There was a sequence with several shots where Ozzie was making good saves.  Eventually it popped back to an Oiler who shot it in before Osgood could get set up to make the save.

Just a few seconds later Filppula got a 4 minute penalty for high sticking.  On the power play Souray released a bomb from the top of the circle that beat Osgood and brought the Oilers back to within one goal.  Remember what I said about the Wings blowing leads?

The Oilers scrambled for the puck and pressured the Wings continuously for the rest of the power play.  The Wings killed it off but the Oilers kept up the pressure at 5 on 5.  Osgood made some huge saves during that sequence to prevent the Oilers from tying the game.

With about a minute left Edmonton pulled their goalie.  The extra man didn’t help them score and Detroit wasn’t able to put it in the empty net so that was the end of this one.

The Red Wings looked great for part of the game.  They also displayed what is becoming a trademark breakdown.  I guess having a big lead early makes it tough to keep up the intensity level.  As problems go, that’s not a bad one to have.  It’s entirely mental.  It gets frustrating though to see teams coming back time after time when they should have been done.  Luckily, Osgood did a great job weathering the storm to hold on for the win.

This 4-3 win brings us to:
13-2-3
29 points

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