The Oilers are looking for a bit of revenge for last year, having lost all 4 of the games the two teams played (including one 8-3 disaster). Both teams are struggling right now. The Oilers haven’t scored a goal in 7 periods now, and have lost 3 in a row. The Red Wings are coming off a 5-4 win over Vancouver on Tuesday, however they lost their last 3 (albeit two of them were after regulation time). The Red Wings are also struggling to keep the puck out of their own net, allowing the 5th most goals against per game at 3.40 GA/Game. The Red Wings are going to be hoping they can turn things around on their favorite team to pick on from last year.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (Lines from Oilers Nation)
Penner — Horcoff — Hemsky
Cogliano — Gagner — Nilsson
Jacques — Brule — O’Sullivan
Moreau — Stortini — MacIntyre
Strudwick — Gilbert
Grebeshkov — Chorney
Peckham — Smid
Detroit Red Wings Projected Line-Up (Based on HFBoards)
- Fernando Pisani has been practicing. He could be back tonight, although I’d assume that he won’t be back any earlier than Saturday, unless they really need him back.
- Lubomir Visnovsky did not practice on Wednesday. He has the flu, possibly of the swine variety. The Oilers are treating it as worst-case-scenario and treating him as though he does have H1N1.
- All the usual injured players are still injured. Souray and Staios seem to take a step forward and then two steps back in their recovery. Not good. Actually, word now is that Staios had a pretty good practice with the team today, so he’s getting there. But he won’t be in tonight.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
0:42 – EDM – Jacques from Brule, O’Sullivan
The Oil get off to a great jump with the Brule line looking very energetic out there. Brule gets a pass from O’Sully and shoots it on net and Jacques puts in the rebound.
9:09 – EDM – Penner from Horcoff, Hemsky
Horcoff receives the pass from Hemsky and hammers it on net. Penner bats in the rebound while crashing the crease.
12:24 – EDM – PP – Hemsky from Penner, Horcoff
Hemsky fires it top cheese on Howard on the PP.
- Gagner gets clobbered by Stuart early in the period. Cogliano stands up for him (oh noes) at first, but Peckham jumps in right away and gets a penalty.
- Shortly after that penalty expires, Cogliano jumps on the ice to replace Penner and plays the puck before Penner can get off, giving the Red Wings another powerplay.
- The Oilers successfully kill off both powerplays quite well.
- During the intermission, they have Craig MacTavish on the panel talking about Dustin Penner: “He plays better hockey when he knows I’m on the (TSN) panel”. Too funny. To MacTavish’s credit, he also says that he does take some credit (although not all of the credit) for Penner’s poor play last year. Takes a big man to admit it.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
0:58 – EDM – Hemsky from Penner
Penner steals it from Bertuzzi and chips it ahead to Hemsky who goes in alone on the breakaway while Howard shits his pants. Hemsky threads it through the five hole.
6:15 – DET – Helm from Filppula, Stuart
Filppula gets the puck from Stuart just as his penalty expires and passes it ahead to Helm. Helm breaks down the wing and slaps one past Khabibulin, blocker side top corner.
9:05 – EDM – PPG – Horcoff from Penner, Grebeshkov
A goalline stand with Penner, Horcoff, Grebeshkov and four Red Wings battling for a puck. Credit to Penner for continually jamming away. Horcoff comes out the winner on this one as he manages to get it past Howard.
12:50 – DET – Zetterberg from Kronwall, Datsyuk
Zetterberg slaps a wild shot from the boards down near the goalie that Khabibulin saves. However the rebound hits Chorney and ends up in the net.
- Hemmer steals the puck behind the net from Howard, who is back there playing the puck, and he tries to bank it in. You know Howard’s nervous about every play he makes now.
- Horcoff is playing like a new man on the top line again. He drives to the net on one play fighting off Filppula and draws a penalty.
- Hemsky does his marquee through the legs move, drawing awe from the crowd.
- On one particular shift, the kids are grinding away like they’ve been taking lessons from Stortini. I like what I see.
- Oilers get lucky on one as Leino rips a shot off the bar on a fairly open net.
- Khabibulin has made some good saves tonight but has also looked pretty shakey at times, maybe due to not being truly tested enough.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
6:32 – DET – Ericsson from Draper, Eaves
Ericsson slaps one that beats Khabibulin.
7:47 – DET – Bertuzzi from Datsyuk
Holmstrom screens Khabibulin and Bertuzzi fires it in the top shelf.
12:53 – DET – Eaves from Helm, Ericsson
A lazy shot from the dot beats Khabibulin glove side.
- Oilers are on their heels early on. Detroit playing hard and crashing the crease. A shot hits the post and the Oil get lucky again as the Red Wings are fighting back.
- Oilers penalty kill has been fairly good, although the first one of the 3rd period they looked a bit sloppy at times. Thankfully some luck got them through that one.
- Quinn screams at the entire bench about their bad breakout that lead to the 3rd goal, according to Ferraro.
- Stuart and Gagner tussle a bit. For whatever reason, Stuart looks like he attempts to knee Gagner in the groin..? Not sure what he was trying there, but he stuck his leg between Gagner’s.
- This period has been nearly all Detroit.
- Nilsson and Cogliano go in on Howard on a 2 on 2 with Nilsson carrying the puck. Nilsson elects to make a difficult pass for some reason and Ferraro calls him on it.
- Wow, no respect for Howard as he gets run in the crease again.
- Commentators note that the kid line is a combined -9 tonight, yet they are out there with 2:30 left in a tie game.. and again he goes to it with just over a minute left.
- Wow, Khabibulin saves a goal on a shot I have no idea how he saw. He kicked out the pad at the last second on the point shot.
OVERTIME PERIOD SUMMARY
- I officially hate Pepsi and their Canada chant idea. Worst marketing idea ever. Those chants are horrible.
- Gilbert gets a glorious chance in OT as Hemsky carries it into the Red Wings zone and drops it for him. He tries to deke Howard, but somehow he saves it.
- First half of that OT was all Detroit, but Edmonton poured it on in the last minute and a half and almost won it.
Gagner – deke – NO GOAL
Williams – deke – NO GOAL
Hemsky – deke – NO GOAL
Datsyuk – shot – NO GOAL
O’Sullivan – shot – GOAL – O’Sullivan rips the shot from the slot and beats Howard middle blocker side off the post, off the middle bar and out.
Zetterberg – shot – NO GOAL
How not to hold a lead. Quinn must have been livid on the bench. Credit to the top line for having a spectacular night. Credit to the kid line for being a combined -9 (they were on the ice for 3 of the 4 final Detroit goals). Khabibulin had a fairly bad night at points as well too. Some of the goals weren’t his fault, but others were easily saveable. He did make some big saves though, to his credit. Really though, this meltdown can be 100% blamed on the injuries/flu to Souray, Staios and Visnovsky. A rookie defense, and we’re asking for problems.
Plus, the kid line got victimized for a few goals. It’s a win, and I’m sure the Oilers will take that. Especially considering they managed to muster up some goals… but I think Howard can take some credit on that too.
The Oilers were outshot 20 to 6 in the 3rd period. I think that pretty much tells the story of the comeback. They got lucky. Real lucky.
As far as positives, Horcoff looked great tonight and had a goal and an assist. Penner had a 4 point night. Hemsky looked pretty good as well. Beyond that, I thought Brule had a pretty good game, as did O’Sullivan (hmm, apparently Quinn didn’t like his play though, as he commented about being mad at him for some reason before he scored the winner – looks like O’Sully was on the ice for 2 goals, so that could be why). The bottom line of Moreau, Stortini and MacIntyre was pretty non-existant tonight. MacIntyre saw about a minute and a half of ice time tonight. It’s pretty obvious Quinn doesn’t need him in the line up and he’s only here until players get healthy.
Well, I will say this was an entertaining one, but not the way I wanted to see it won. Would have liked to have seen the Oilers play 60 minutes tonight.