Second Period Goals Lead Oilers over Wings

The Edmonton Oilers scored three times in the second period and it was all they needed to defeat the Detroit Red Wings, 3-2, and take a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Fernando Pisani, Ryan Smyth and Shawn Horcoff each scored in the highest-scoring period of the series.

Pisani’s goal came 5:16 into the period when he deflected a shot from the left circle by Chris Pronger between the pads of Detroit goalie Manny Legace.

Smyth scored on a power play just 3:18 later when a shot by Jarret Stoll bounced off his shin pad and into the net.

Horcoff gave Edmonton a three goal lead with 7:24 remaining in the period. Jason Smith threw the puck at the net and Horcoff knocked it down with his leg, then batted away at it. He knocked his own rebound past Legace.

The Red Wings finally got on the board with 1:21 remaining in the second, when Brendan Shanahan picked up the puck and skated in all alone on Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson, beating him to his left.

Detroit would not score again until the closing seconds of the third period.

With Legace on the bench for an extra attacker, the puck came free from the left wing boards and came out to the slot, where Henrik Zetterberg spun around and slapped a shot into the net.

Roloson stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced while Legace made only 16 saves on 19 shots.

Detroit was held scoreless on six power play chances but allowed one goal on four Edmonton power plays.

The Red Wings will try to avoid elimination on Monday in Edmonton, at a time still to be determined. Should the Wings win then, the series will move back to Detroit for a deciding Game Seven on Wednesday.


Detroit captain Steve Yzerman and backup goalie Chris Osgood sat out for the second game in a row.

First Overtime Loss of Season

The lesson to be learned from tonight’s game is that even if you go in and score four perfectly beautiful goals, the other team can score five dirty ugly goals and come up with an overtime win. So it went for the Red Wings, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of their home-and-home series.

The Red Wings scored the only goal of the first period, despite being outshot 11-7 by the Oilers. The puck bounced away from an Edmonton defenseman and straight to the stick of Luc Robitaille, who took off down the right side. Boyd Devereaux kept up on the left, and Robitaille fooled both the defenseman and goaltender Jussi Markkanen by looking as if to pass before putting the shot through Markkanen’s five-hole, achieving his 1300th career point.

The Oilers came back to take the lead within 27 seconds in the second period. First, Steve Staios caught the puck as it was rolling out towards the Detroit blue line. He snapped a hard wrist shot which seemed to change direction in midair before it dipped past Manny Legace for the goal. On the very next shift, Legace stopped a shot by Ryan Smyth, but the rebound came free to Anson Carter. Carter wrapped the puck around the net and banked it in off Legace’s skate before the goalie could close the gap between his foot and the goalpost.

Jason Woolley brought the score back to a tie with his first goal as a Red Wing. Brett Hull made a centering pass from behind the net. Woolley was left unguarded in the slot and let fly a hard shot which got past Markkanen.

Smyth retook the lead for the Oilers early in the third period. Robitaille had been sent to the box for high-sticking, Smyth was left to get to the side of the goal crease, where he waited with his stick blade on the ice. When Mike York sent the pass up from the right point, all Smyth had to do was tap it into the net.

Sergei Fedorov tied the game back up with his 13th of the season. He carried the puck up center and shot it from the blue line. Eric Brewer tried to get his stick in the way of the shot, but instead it deflected the puck just enough to fool Markkanen.

The Oilers took a 4-3 lead on a strange goal which was eventually credited to Janne Niinimaa. The puck seemed to escape from someone’s stick, pinball off of a few skates, and roll into the net past Legace’s outstretched catching glove.

Brendan Shanahan caught the Wings back up less than a minute later. He carried the puck up the right side, on a 2-on-1 rush with Tomas Holmstrom. Shanahan fired a hard, perfectly placed wrist shot which sailed past Markkanen to score the goal and swing the momentum back in Detroit’s favor.

The end of the third period was a huge amount of Detroit pressure in the Edmonton zone. Markkanen proved to be up to the challenge, however, and his team was rewarded a minute and a half into the overtime. Jason Smith was able to get to the front of the net and whack at the puck. Legace stopped the first three shots, but the fourth one was a backhander which chipped up high and in.

Final shots on net were 35-34 in Edmonton’s favor. The Red Wings play their next game at home on Wednesday night, when they host the New Jersey Devils.


Since this was Game # 21, and we are now about a quarter of the way through the season, it might be interesting to look and see how the League standings would look if the playoffs were to start today. In the East, #1 Boston (30 points) would play #8 New Jersey (23 points). #2 Tampa Bay (27 points) would play #7 Pittsburgh (24 points). #3 Philadelphia (26 points) would play the #6 New York Rangers (24 points). #4 Carolina (25 points) would play #5 Ottawa (24 points). In the West, #1 Dallas (33 points) would play #8 Anaheim (23 points). #2 Minnesota (30 points) would play #7 Los Angeles (24 points). #3 Detroit (26 points) would play…. get this…. #6 Colorado (25 points)! (What kind of first round is THAT????) And #4 Vancouver (28 points) would play #5 St. Louis (25 points). Hmm…. maybe it’s best that three-fourths of a season are still left to go.

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.