Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall‘s first goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period Saturday afternoon, lifting the Red Wings to a 2-1 win over the visiting Edmonton Oilers.
Kronwall’s goal was also part of a strong special teams effort by the Wings, as they scored both of their goals on the power play and stopped seven of Edmonton’s eight chances with the extra attacker.
It was at 6:08 of the third period when Pavel Datsyuk corralled a loose puck in the right faceoff circle and backhanded a pass out to Kronwall at the blue line. Kronwall stepped up to the top of the left circle and blasted a shot through traffic and past Oilers’ netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.
Datsyuk had opened the game’s scoring at 8:33 of the second period on the conclusion of a quick passing play. Henrik Zetterberg sent the puck from the high slot to Damien Brunner down low on the left side. Brunner snapped a cross-ice pass through the top of the crease to Datsyuk on the right side, who cut to the front of the net and slid it under Khabibulin.
Edmonton’s lone goal came with 2:05 left in the second period when Justin Schultz snapped a wrister from the high slot through a screen and in behind Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.
Howard finished the afternoon with 23 saves on 24 shots while Khabibulin made 28 saves on 30 shots.
The Red Wings will have little time to rest following their win. They host the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday at 12:30.