1 2 3 T
Edmonton Oilers EDM 0 1 1 2
17 SHOTS 30
22 HITS 19
13 PIM 19
1/7 PP 1/4

Oilers battle back, but drop 4-2 decision to Detroit

Wednesday, 06.08.2014 / 4:49 AM

Sam Gagner continued his scoring ways, striking a pair as the Oilers battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game. But a third-period goal by Drew Miller 2:23 after the Oilers had squared it up sealed the visitors' fate, putting them down for good in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings Wednesday night in Detroit.


In a similar start to Monday's game in Toronto, the Oilers controlled the pace early with a decisive territorial advantage. While Red Wings starter Joey MacDonald was only assigned with two shots in the opening six minutes, the orange and blue's buzz sparked raw emotion.

Ryan Jones laid out Detroit's Niklas Kronwall in the neutral zone, causing Justin Abdelkader to come to his teammate's aide. The pair dropped the mitts in a spirited tilt in which No. 28 landed several bombs, earning the decision with ease. The Red Wing was assessed a cross-checking minor on the play, too, putting the Oilers on a power-play that sputtered.

The man-advantage tables turned moments later when Eric Belanger was charged with holding the stick at 12:10. Detroit took full advantage, striking the game's icebreaker when Ian White's point shot was redirected home by an undetected Johan Franzen in the slot.

Penalties to Cory Emmerton and Brad Stuart late in the period opened the door to a 1:14-long 5-on-3 chance. While it was a great opportunity to equal the score, the Oilers were unable to generate a shot, let alone a goal during the advantage.

With 20 minutes in the books, Detroit continued to lead 1-0 while holding a 5-4 edge in shots in the process.


Detroit wasted no time in extended their lead. At 2:45, a centering pass by Abdelkader pinballed in the crease just before Emmerton swooped in to jam the puck upstairs, beating Khabibulin on his club's 10th shot.

The Red Wings were given a partial 3-on-1 chance moments later when Jeff Petry was unable to handle the puck up ice; the rearguard raced back and, with Taylor Hall's help, the play was neatly broken up.

Ladislav Smid was assessed a tripping minor at 5:11. Unlike the home side's previous opportunity, the advantage passed without a scoring chance.

In need of a spark, the Oilers got it (and more) with 8:52 to play in the period. Ben Eager made a crushing hit in the neutral zone, which gathered the attention of the Red Wings -- and Jonathan Ericsson in particular. With the distraction in play, Petry launched a pass up to Sam Gagner for a breakaway. No. 89 nearly lost the handle, but made a quick backhand deke to score his 12th goal of the season and 14th point in the past four games.

Each team was granted an abbreviated, late-period power-play chance, but nothing could be generated. But with only 1:26 on the clock, the Oilers got another when Detroit was charged with too many men. Without a goal through most of it, Edmonton had 34 man-advantage seconds carried into the third. That, too, was killed.

After two periods, the Red Wings continued to lead 2-1 and were up 20-9 on the shot clock.


The parade to the penalty box continued, with Ales Hemsky picking up an undisciplined tripping minor 3:13 in. For the third time in the game, the Oilers were able to kill the Wings' advantage. Detroit responded with one, too, with 12:29 to play when Abdelkader was assigned to serve a tripping minor of his own.

Gagner, as heroic as can be, came through once more. With the puck bouncing around at the crease's lip, the NHL's Star of the Week chipped the puck up and over MacDonald to draw the Oilers even at 8:23.

It didn't last long, however. With 9:14 to play and with the puck laying behind Khabibulin without a sense of its location, Drew Miller was quick to the scene, tapping the puck by the goalie to restore Detroit's one-goal advantage.

It was soon extended. At 14:44, Henrik Zetterberg scooped up a loose puck in the slot, curled around the Oilers' D to the side and rifled a shot short-side on Khabibulin to make it a 4-2 game.

The Oilers pulled Dubnyk with 1:50 to play, but nothing came of it as they dropped a 4-2 decision.

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