|Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk battles for the puck with Edmonton's Andrew Cogliano during the first period on November 17, 2008 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)|
Mondays are tough, and the nobody knows this better than the Edmonton Oilers. In their first game of the season vs. the reigning Stanley Cup Champs, the Oilers were shut out 4-0 by Ty Conklin and the rest of the Red Wings in Detroit.
Most of the action in the first three minutes occured in the Edmonton zone as Dwayne Roloson stopped four Detroit shots and then watched Zack Stortini and Darren McCarty drop their gloves behind his net.
Though both teams stayed at even-strength following the fight, the Oilers soon took two minors to offer the NHL's best powerplay unit a two-man advantage for 1:25.
With 35 seconds left in Ethan Moreau's initial hooking penalty, Niklas Kronwall converted Henrik Zetterberg's centering pass into the first goal of the game at 6:11.
Detroit dominated the shot clock 12-1 through to the midway point of the frame, at which point Andreas Lilja took a slashing penalty -- and then a high-sticking penalty -- to offer Edmonton back-to-back powerplays.
1:05 into Lilja's second infraction, Zetterberg added a minor of his own to give the visitors a 55-second five-on-three. Although the Oilers came within five shots of the Red Wings on the powerplays, the club was unable to beat goaltender Ty Conklin and promptly headed back on the penalty kill.
The Wings flocked to Roloson on the man-advantage. A minute into the powerplay, Brian Rafalski triggered the goal light with a slapshot from the point, but video replay proved that the shot ricocheted off one post and hit the other without crossing the line. The lucky bounce and a late penalty to Tomas Holmstrom kept Edmonton within a goal and up a man heading into the second period.
The Oilers failed to capitalize on their fourth man-advantage and the Red Wings countered by doubling their lead. Exactly three minutes into the middle frame, Mikael Samuelsson stationed himself in the slot and lifted the puck over Roloson to give Detroit a 2-0 lead on their 17th shot of the game.
The Oilers' odds didn't improve when Moreau took a holding penalty following the goal, but Roloson rallied to resist the Wings and kept his club within two.
Although Edmonton created some scoring chances on a fifth powerplay and in the minutes that followed, a deflection at the opposite end of the ice made it a 3-0 game. With just under six minutes left in the frame, Jiri Hudler caught a piece of Valtteri Filppula's shot to tally his club's third unanswered goal.
The Red Wings hit the 30-shot mark three minutes into the third period while the Oilers stalled short of 15 attempts. Three more minutes of aggressive play was put on pause when Fernando Pisani slid into the boards behind the Wings net and hobbled to the locker room with help from Oilers trainer Ken Lowe. He would not return to the ice due to a broken ankle.
As the game progressed into its final 10 minutes, Johan Franzen made it 4-0 for Detroit. Although Roloson followed the forward as he swept across the crease, a sharp-angle backhand found the back of the net.
The Oilers were desperate to break their goose egg, but Conklin stopped all 21 shots faced and held on for a 4-0 shutout -- his first of the season -- on Monday night.