Powerful Play

The Red Wings demonstrated tonight just why they are known for their depth, as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 and improved their record to 8-1-0.

Control of the puck went back and forth between the two teams throughout the first period; however, the Red Wings outshot the Oilers badly, holding them to only two shots in the first twenty minutes.

Sergei Fedorov opened the scoring late in the first period. Edmonton’s Marty Reasoner received a penalty for high-sticking with 8:23 before the break. The power play unit kept control of the puck in the offensive zone, and Fedorov was able to pick up a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom and rifle a shot past goalie Tommy Salo.

The Oilers got their first power play opportunity with just over a minute left to play in the first, when Kirk Maltby was given a penalty for roughing after the play. The Oilers couldn’t seem to get organized, and Yzerman and Brett Hull were able to get a breakaway scoring chance up the ice.

Detroit got another power play chance 4:31 into the second period when Jason Smith was penalized for roughing. This time, though, Edmonton’s penalty killers effectively shut down the power play’s passing.

The Red Wings’ next goal came on their very next power play. Smith was back in the box for roughing with 8:48 left in the period. Lidstrom passed the puck to Brendan Shanahan, who fired from the left point, and Tomas Holmstrom tipped the puck in underneath Salo.

Edmonton’s Anson Carter believed that he had scored on Dominek Hasek while Jiri Fischer was serving a holding penalty, but Carter stopped short and looked with disbelief into the empty net while Hasek calmly handed the puck back to the referee for the next faceoff.

The Oilers brought their number of shots up in the second, mainly due to a total of three penalties to Fischer throughout the period. Still, they remained scoreless after two.

Detroit took back control of the game in the third period. Just two-and-a-half minutes in, Lidstrom got the puck to Igor Larionov on a three-on-one rush. Larionov passed to Luc Robitaille, who took the puck at the height of its bounce and flipped it past Salo.

The young “3-D Line” also managed to make their presence felt. Pavel Datsyuk stole the puck from the Oilers at their own blue line, and passed over to Mathieu Dandenault. Dandenault lured both the defense and the goalie towards him, then passed back to Boyd Devereaux, who slid the puck into the wide open net.

Edmonton decided at that point to pull Salo from the net and send in rookie Ty Conklin to take his place. With barely ten minutes left to play, it did not provide enough momentum to help the Oilers come back, but it apparently inspired them to take away Hasek’s first potential shutout as a Red Wing. With just 5:15 left in the game, Sean Brown was able to get the puck past Detroit’s well-screened goalie.

Shanahan, Fedorov, Robitaille, and Yzerman all continued their scoring streaks. Shanahan is still the current scoring leader in the NHL. Hasek stopped 27 of 28 shots, Salo stopped 26 of 30, and Conklin stopped 7 of 7.

The Red Wings will finish their five-game homestand Friday night against the Dallas Stars.

Wings Dominate Oilers in 4-1 Win

Even after trading away captain Doug Weight over the summer, the Edmonton Oilers looked to be a tough team to beat coming into this season. On Wednesday night, the Red Wings made them look like anything but.

Detroit picked up a four to one win on goals from Sergei Fedorov, Tomas Holmstrom, Luc Robitaille and former Oiler Boyd Devereaux and steamrolled Edmonton in every statistical catagory.

The Red Wings were two-for-four on the power play. Fedorov scored midway through the first on a wicked blast with the man-advantage and Holmstrom gave the Wings a two goal lead with the redirection of a Brendan Shanahan shot while Edmonton was down a man. The Oilers were kept scorless on five power play attempts.

Detroit’s Dominik Hasek outplayed TOmmy Salo of Edmonton, with Hasek making twenty-seven stops on twenty-eight shots while Salo allowed four goals on thirty shots and was replaced by Ty Conklin at 8:13 of the third period. Haske kept the Wings ahead through a stretch in the second period when Detroit was shorthanded for several minutes, including making huge stops on Anson Carter and Eric Brewer.

At even strength, the Oilers were unable to keep up with the Red Wings. Detroit got early third period goals from Robitaille and Devereaux. Edmonton was only able to muster a late goal by Sean Brown.

It was the kind of game to be expected from the Red Wings’ All-Star lineup, and it came against a team that has been tough to beat The Wings’ next opponent will be Western Conference rival Dallas as the Stars head to Joe Louis Arena on Friday.