Oilers beat Red Wings 4-1
|Edmonton's Shawn Horcoff accelerates past Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg during Thursday's game. The Oilers went on to beat the Red Wings 4-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Lubomir Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson gave the Oilers a two-goal lead in the first period, but with two quick markers at the midway point of the game, Patrick O'Sullivan stole the spotlight and sealed the 4-1 win over the Red Wings Thursday night.
With a less-than-inspiring November behind them, the Oilers were determined to start December off on the right skate. Nearly six minutes into the game, defenceman Visnovsky made that happen in an unlikely fashion.
After carrying the puck into the Red Wings zone, Visnovsky decided to break in and let loose on goalie Jimmy Howard. With a sea of red jerseys in his way, Visnovsky's attempt looked doomed but the puck bounced off two Wings sticks and between Howard's legs, giving the Oil a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, fellow defenceman Sheldon Souray
was called for tripping Tomas Holmstrom and the Wings got the chance to even things up on the powerplay. The Oilers were terrors on the PK, however, and outlasted the two minutes.
In the final three minutes of the frame, one of the Oilers' recent returnees -- Robert Nilsson -- made his presence felt. After receiving a bang-on backhander from Ryan Stone
, Nilsson danced around Jonathan Eriksson and then crisply cut around Howard to score the prettiest Oilers goal of the season.
Edmonton came within one second of taking their two-goal lead to the second period, but at 19:59, Dan Cleary fired a long snapper past Jeff Deslauriers
to get his club within one after 20 minutes.
Early in the middle frame, a huge collision between Ryan Stone
and Justin Abdelkader kickstarted a group shoving match in front of Jeff Deslauriers
' net. A roughing minor to Zack Stortini
and double minor to Brad May resulted in Edmonton's first powerplay.
Penalty killers dominated the first man-advantage of the game, and that was also the case in the second, with the Wings smothering every Oilers rush to prevent further visiting scoring.
Although Edmonton couldn't add a powerplay goal to their tally, Patrick O'Sullivan added a third even-strength goal near the game's midway point. While moving up the left wing, Jean-Francois Jacques
dropped a pass for his linemate, who slipped the puck under Howard's right pad to give the Oil a 3-1 lead.
Three minutes later, O'Sullivan did it again. With Howard caught out of his crease, the Oilers forward skirted the crowd and fired past a desperate Stuart to make it 4-1 on his second goal of the game.
Edmonton held on to its three-goal cushion and 25-19 shot lead until the second-period buzzer.
Deslauriers was put to the test early in the third but the big goalie frustrated the Wings by executing even bigger saves to maintain his club's lead. After regaining control of the puck, the Oilers hit 30 shots while the Wings remained six shy.
Despite keeping the pressure on Edmonton's goalie, Detroit couldn't light the lamp a second time and suffered a 4-1 loss to the Oil Thursday night.
|Three star selections