November 11, 2011

RedWings Smash Oilers (Game Recap)

Edmonton finally lost a game on Thursday night as the Bruins became the first team to put a hatful (6) past the so far solid Edmonton defence. Detroit seem to have found their feet the last couple of games and with that have found the back of the net scoring 10 goals in the last 2.  There were doubts surrounding Henrik Zetterberg before the game as he was reported to be suffering some soreness but he started the game from the first puck drop.

An uneventful opening 7 minutes saw both teams trying to work each other out. Few whistles in play and few shots on goal led to the time on the clock clicking down very quickly. Edmonton had started to put some pressure on the Redwings net around the 10 minute mark, circling the puck well as they looked to outspeed the Detroit defence but an unlucky bounce at the other end led to the home team taking the lead. Patrick Eaves fired the puck from the boards off a defenceman’s skate and it fell perfectly for Drew Miller inbetween the circles to put it low past Khabibulin.

Detroit got the first powerplay chance of the game with about 4 minutes to go in the 1st period and Khabibulin showed why he is the number 1 netminder in the league so far as he stoned Holmstrom twice and Datsyuk hit the post. The netminder then pulled off another great save from Helm just as the powerplay finished as the Redwings really pushed for a 2nd goal before the end of the period.  It didn’t come but Detroit took the 1st period 1-0 with a pretty solid performance.

It took Detroit just over 2 minutes of the 2nd period to take a 2-0 lead as Hudler and Abdelkader did good work to force a turnover on the boards and Kronwall fired a bullet high above the glove of Khabibulin.
Abdelkader then threw a big hit on Petry which Petrell took exception to and the players dropped the gloves. The Edmonton player took 4 minutes worth of instigator penalties along with a 5 minutes for fighting and a 10 minute misconduct whilst Abdelkader just took 5 for fighting which led to a double powerplay opportunity for Detroit.

Khabibulin pulled off 2 great saves from Zetterberg and Franzen as Detroit looked for a 3rd goal but the powerplay advantage was cut short as Kronwall took an interference penalty. That led to a 40 second powerplay to the Oilers as they tried to swing some momentum their way but they couldn’t find a clear cut opportunity as the play swung back and forth. A big glove save from Howard off a Sutton slapshot finally led to a break in play as the game hit the half way stage with the Redwings holding a 2-0 advantage. Detroit killed off a too many men penalty comfortably as Edmonton’s powerplay struggled to find any rhythm whilst Lidstrom struck the goal post with a blast from the top of the circles as Detroit came on strong again towards the end of the period. Andy Sutton took a penalty with 15 seconds left on the period which would see Detroit head into the 3rd period with almost a full powerplay opportunity.

The Oilers killed this off easily at the start of the 3rd and Belanger hit Howard’s near side post as they tried to get themselves back into the game. Kronwall then took a 2 minute holding penalty which gave Edmonton some more momentum but Howard made a great save from Horcoff and Emerton then helped the netminder to cover the puck on a scramble infront. Edmonton ran into penalty trouble then themselves as first Gilbert and then Jones took 2 minute minors. It was Detroit’s chance to pressure the opposition’s net and Datsyuk hit the ironwork for the 2nd time in the game.

The game was still end to end with neither team able to take a chance and change the scoreline as the game headed into the last 8 minutes. Detroit killed the game off with just over 5 minutes left as Zetterberg and Fillpula went on a 2 on 1 breakaway and Zetterberg chipped a beautiful saucer pass over the defenceman for Fillpula to put in the bouncing puck.

It ended as a 3-0 win for Detroit – a fantastic defensive performance which saw Howard post his 3rd shutout of the season. Edmonton contributed to this game but just couldn’t find any offence to penetrate the Redwings where Detroit managed to find the net when they needed to. A very fast paced game which saw Khabibulin lose his 1st game in regulation this season and saw him concede more than 2 goals for the 1st time as well. A solid display that Detroit will hope to carry over to tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars.

- Adam Yates

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