Igor Larionov led the team with four assists, and Nick Lidstrom, Jason Williams, and Chris Chelios all contributed goals to give the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Joe Louis Arena.
Like a shadow of Sunday’s game against Buffalo, the Red Wings had to start out by killing off a penalty. This time, it was a four minute double minor to Igor Larionov for high sticking. And this time, the Detroit penalty-killers kept control of the puck and kept Edmonton out of the net for the full four minutes.
The Red Wings looked sharp and ready to play, and spent most of the first period in Edmonton’s zone. When their first power play came along, from a tripping call on Steve Staios, they were ready. Larionov won the faceoff and got the puck back to Freddy Olausson, who passed along the blue line to Nick Lidstrom at the right point. Lidstrom fired a hard shot which dipped down and between the leg pads of goaltender Jussi Markkanen, exactly five seconds after the power play began.
Edmonton applied more offensive pressure in the second period, testing Dominik Hasek with twelve shots on net. Hasek made the saves, however, and Lidstrom increased the Red Wings’ lead, again on the power play. Georges Laraque was in the box for holding, and Luc Robitaille passed the puck from behind the net to Larionov at the right wing side. Larionov passed across to Lidstrom, coming up deep on the left side, and Lidstrom put a perfectly aimed wrist shot into Markkanen’s net.
The Oilers finally found some luck in the third period. Marty Reasoner scored twice on power plays within the first five minutes- the first during a holding call on Chris Chelios and the second during an obstruction hooking call on Kris Draper, tying the game at two goals apiece.
Sean Avery sought to re-energize his team by winning a fight against Scott Ferguson, and Jason Williams put the Red Wings back into the lead. Robitaille again centered the puck from behind the net, and Williams skated around Rem Murray and slapped the puck past Markkanen.
The Red Wings tried to protect their lead with defensive play, but when the Oilers pulled their goalie for an extra skater with just over a minute to play, the protection was not enough. Mike Comrie, whose earlier goal was waved off after review because it was kicked into the net, carried the puck towards Hasek while having his stick tied up by Lidstrom. Just as Hasek came out to poke the puck away, Comrie got his stick free, and put just enough on the puck to lift it over Hasek and send the game to overtime.
Luck was with Detroit in the overtime period, as a slashing call to Ryan Smyth gave them two minutes of a four-on-three penalty. Larionov passed from the blue line to Chelios at the left wing side, and Chelios blasted a hard one-timer past Markkanen, for what was, surprisingly enough, his first ever overtime goal.
Shots on net were thirty-eight to thirty-one in the Oilers’ favor. Detroit was three for six on power plays. The Red Wings next game will be Saturday afternoon, when they will travel to Boston to face the Bruins.
Team officials expect that Darren McCarty will be recovered from his finger injury by this weekend and Steve Yzerman will be recovered from his knee injury by next week. Max Kuznetsov returned to the lineup for the first time since December. This game was Hasek’s thirty-eighth win of the season, which is a new personal best record for him.