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WINGS POST-GAME: WINGS LOSE TO THE EDMONTON MCDAVIDS

In their fifth straight home game, the Red Wings hosted the Edmonton Oilers for the two teams’ second meeting of the season. In their first meeting a couple of weeks ago, the Wings shut out Connor McDavid and his Oilers in a 4-0 victory. There were a few differences for the Wings heading into tonight’s game, such as Martin Frk out with a groin injury. More notably, though, Jeff Blashill opted to start Jimmy Howard instead of Petr Mrazek. With Howie backstopping them, the team was looking to finish this home stand 3-0-2. Let’s see how they fared against the struggling Oilers.

THE RUNDOWN

It was a busy first period as the Oilers took a too many men on the ice penalty at the 6:14 mark. Detroit wasted no time to open up the scoring at home. On a beautiful shot from the top of the circle, Tomas Tatar took advantage of the extra space on the powerplay and made it 1-0 Red Wings.

Less than a minute later, the Oilers responded.

The Oilers suffered a real beating at the hands of the St. Louis Blues last night and they weren’t ready to take another one. Three minutes after Nurse’s goal, Leon Draisaitl found Patrick Maroon all alone in the slot. He made no mistake in burying it past Howard as he was in all alone.

Edmonton took another penalty shortly after, but Detroit couldn’t capitalize. The period was pretty even as both teams recorded four scoring chances. Before the period ended, Detroit would tie the game on a rush shot from Niklas Kronwall that deflected off the chest of Ryan Nugent Hopkins and over the shoulder of Cam Talbot.

The second period got off to a slow start. Both teams seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace and neither could pull ahead. Until the halfway point. That’s when things started falling apart for the Red Wings. First, Jujhar Khaira scored from the slot after a blocked shot by Scott Wilson failed to clear the zone.

It was a painful block, too, as Wilson left the ice and went down the tunnel after the goal. Four minutes later, the Wings were in the midst of a good offensive zone shift when Nick Jensen fired the puck around boards to the other side where there was no Red Wings to receive it. Very quickly, the Oilers moved the puck up ice to Mike Cammalleri who fired a shot low on Howard. The rebound was picked up in the slot by Mark Letestu and the Oilers got their insurance goal.

That would be it for Howard as Blashill summoned Petr Mrazek to take over. Mrazek barely had a chance to make a save before the Oilers scored again. This time, it was Drake Caggiula off a behind the back pass by McDavid, making it 5-2 Oilers.

The second period was a very poor showing by the Red Wings as they were outshot 12-2 and out-attempted 21-12.

The third period was slow and boring. The Wings couldn’t get anything going. They weren’t connecting on their passes and they couldn’t get pucks on to Cam Talbot. Edmonton got a late period 3-on-2 and Jesse Puljujarvi made no mistake in burying the final goal of the game. It’s a 6-2 final for the Oilers.

THE STATS

The teams went back and forth for most of the game, but Edmonton really played better here. They owned most of the first and second periods. In the third, Detroit just couldn’t get shots through the crowded slot to the net. The 5v5 stats aren’t terribly skewed, but Detroit needed to be better against a struggling team that is generally pretty slow.

Shots: DET 20-26 EDM

Shot Attempts: DET 43-43 EDM

Scoring Chances: DET 15-21 EDM

Basically, the Wings came down and played at Edmonton’s speed instead of outskating them.

MOTOR CITY MVP

Tonight’s Motor City MVP is Tomas Tatar for scoring on the powerplay. He had a few other chances, but nobody else on the Wings was really inspiring enough to warrant being the player of the game. So it’s Tatar. Here’s the goal again.

NEXT UP

The Wings get a travel day tomorrow as they head to New York to face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Friday night. Game time is 7:00 P.M. ET and you can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or MSG 2 if you’re in the New York area.

As always, Brock Seguin will have the pre-game on WingsNation.com sometime Friday afternoon.