Skip to main content

At the Rink: Oilers at Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings (11-8-3) want to hold onto third-period leads, while the Edmonton Oilers (7-14-1) look to score more goals.

The teams play at Joe Louis Arena on Friday (7:30 p.m.; TVA Sports, SNW, FS-D+).

Detroit has failed to protect late leads in three of its past five games and in five games overall this season. The latest was a 3-2 overtime loss against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Boston tied the game with less than two minutes left in regulation.

"We talked about it this morning," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "If you look back, we lost a lead late in St. Louis (last Saturday), we lost a lead late in Ottawa (Nov. 16), just recently and obviously the other night.

"We talked about is there anything you could do different? I think that's the thing you look at as a coach, not for the blame game but more for the correction process moving forward. I didn't think we took our foot off the gas really in St. Louis. I didn't think we did last game. I didn't really think we did against Ottawa either."

Detroit had plenty of chances to stretch its lead to 3-1 against Boston.

"We've got to make those games two-goal games," Blashill said. "If we would have scored on some of our opportunities the other night I think the game would have been over. We've got to find a way to have that killer instinct when we do get in those situations. When you leave it a one-goal game, you leave it up to chance. You make maybe one mistake or maybe a guy just takes a nice shot. We'd like to not leave it to chance."

Edmonton is trying to get its offense rolling after scoring one goal in the past two games.

"Less time in our own zone and we need to be better through the neutral zone," coach Todd McLellan said. "Our shots have to be taken from spots where there's rebounds and the second and third chances can be put in."

Center Leon Draisaitl echoed his coach's sentiments.

"We've got to take more shots than we have been for sure and create second chances around the net," he said. "Score more greasy goals."

It will be Edmonton's first game since losing forward Nail Yakupov, who is out 2-4 weeks after he sustained an ankle sprain in a 4-1 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday. He was taken to the ice by linesman Matt MacPherson following a neutral zone faceoff. The Oilers recalled forward Jujhar Khaira from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

These are the projected lineups:


Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Jordan Eberle

Lauri Korpikoski - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Teddy Purcell

Benoit Pouliot - Mark Letestu - Matt Hendricks

Luke Gazdic - Anton Lander - Iiro Pakarinen

Darnell Nurse - Andrej Sekera

Oscar Klefbom - Mark Fayne

Brandon Davidson - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Griffin Reinhart, Andrew Ference, Jujhar Khaira

Injured: Nail Yakupov (ankle), Connor McDavid (collarbone), Rob Klinkhammer (lower body), Justin Schultz (back)


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Brad Richards - Pavel Datsyuk - Teemu Pulkkinen

Tomas Tatar - Riley Sheahan - Gustav Nyquist

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl

Injured: Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle)

Status update: McLellan said the team hopes Khaira will arrive before the game Friday … The Red Wings have points in a season-high five consecutive games (3-0-2).

Who's hot: Pouliot has the Oilers lone goal in the past two games … Datsyuk has a goal in each of the past two games … Tatar has a three-game point streak (2-1-3).

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.