Wings Post-Game: Oil Rush

The Red Wings entered Sunday’s contest on a four game losing streak. After a day off, the Wings would play host to the Western Conference leading Edmonton Oilers. It was the only time this season that Connor McDavid and friends would visit Joe Louis Arena and they entered the contest looking to pull ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings. The Red Wings, for their part, were just looking to gain some momentum after a late third period breakdown on Friday against the WInnipeg Jets. How did the teams fare? Let’s find out.

The Rundown

After a slow start in which the Oilers took the first five shots of the game, the Red Wings struck first. Eric Gryba was in the box for interfering on Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abldelkader picked up the rebound on a Brendan Smith shot from the point. He shoveled it into the net for his second goal in two games.

Only a few minutes later, Steve Ott almost buried his first goal as a Red Wing. He had an empty net, but Jonas Gustavsson just barely managed to get his stick over and keep the puck out. Missing that shot would hurt as the Oilers tied the game on a wraparound by Tyler Pitlock at 16:39 of the period. The first would end in a tie, with the shots on goal also being tied 12-12.

The Red Wings had a slow start to the second period as well, giving the first four shots of the period to the Oilers. The period had some good chances on both sides, but both goaltenders came up big for their respective teams. With 2:56 remaining, Dylan Larkin took an interference call that the Red Wings managed to kill off. However, as soon as Larkin got out of the box, Mike Green went into it on a tripping call. The Oilers didn’t hesitate here. McDavid found Ryan Nugent Hopkins in the slot and he buried it to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead. They closed out the period with the edge in shots too, leading the Red Wings 23-19.
The third period was largely uneventful. The Red Wings failed to convert on a powerplay opportunity and, despite some pushing very late in the third period, couldn’t pull a goal out of their sleeves.
Jimmy Howard couldn’t bail his team out of this one. The Red Wings losing streak is now at five games.

The Stats

Despite trailing in shots on goal, the Red Wings were keeping up, for the most part. But when you’re down in third period, you can’t allow your opponent to outplay you for most of the period. If Detroit wants to start winning again, they have to play a full sixty minutes of hockey. Forty won’t cut it.

Motor City MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Jimmy Howard. With 26 saves on the night, Howard kept the Red Wings in the game through the second and third periods. Once again, his team did not provide him with the scoring support needed to win the game.

Up Next

Tomorrow, the Wings will travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a game on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Wings are looking to exact revenge after the Flyers downed them 4-3 in OT last week. Puck drop is 7 PM. You can watch on FS-D or CSN-PH. Be sure to check back Tuesday morning for the Wings Nation pregame by Brock Seguin.