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game recap

Neal scores ninth goal for Oilers in win against Red Wings

Nurse has two assists in Edmonton's seventh victory in eight games; Detroit loses fourth in row

by Derek Van Diest / Independent Correspondent

Neal whips home goal

DET@EDM: Neal puts home rebound for opening goal

James Neal slings a shot through the five-hole of Jonathan Bernier to put the Oilers ahead in the 2nd period

  • 00:59 •

EDMONTON -- James Neal scored his NHL-leading ninth goal for the Edmonton Oilers in a 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Rogers Place on Friday.

Leon Draisaitl extended his season-opening point streak to eight games with an assist on Ethan Bear's goal that gave Edmonton a 2-0 lead at 12:22 of the second period. Draisaitl has six goals and 10 assists.

"I like the way we battled all night," Neal said. "It was one of our best games, and it was nice to get another win. I feel good. I'm trying to get to the net as much as I can. Our line (with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Alex Chiasson) was really good tonight. I thought we were getting to pucks, we were making plays, and we were finding each other. It was a solid game from us, and it was nice to find the back of the net again."


[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Oilers highlights]


Defenseman Darnell Nurse had two assists and Mikko Koskinen made 25 saves for the Oilers (7-1-0), who have won two games in a row following their first loss.

"We competed harder defensively tonight, even if we didn't capitalize on chances like we did the other night (6-3 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday)," Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. "It was a hard-fought 2-1 game. They are a desperate team. They had lost three in a row coming in. I thought we checked well and had some good opportunities that we missed on. For the most part, we competed hard."

Video: DET@EDM: Koskinen stones Larkin with blocker save

Mike Green scored and Jonathan Bernier made 35 saves for the Red Wings (3-5-0), who were outscored 12-3 in a three-game Western Canada road trip.

"In the end, we haven't scored enough, that's for sure," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "Here's what I liked though: We got down 2-0, we talked about not melting when we were down 2-0, we kept digging and we found way to make 2-1. And then I thought we had the better of the chances in the third period. We had a couple of shifts where we got stuck in our end a little bit, but I thought, overall, we had the better of the chances, and we gave ourselves a chance to win the hockey game."

Neal scored on the rebound of Chiasson's deflection of a Nurse point shot to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the second.

Green scored with a wrist shot from the high slot at 16:37 to make it 2-1.

Video: DET@EDM: Green nets wrister from the slot

Dylan Larkin nearly tied the game with 2:02 left in the third, hitting the post on a shot from the point.

"We know when we play our game -- and we didn't play our best tonight -- but when we play our game, we're up there with the hottest team in the League," Larkin said. "We forechecked hard, we moved our feet, and we got pucks out of our zone quickly. When we do that, we're a good team. We need to shore up the other part and score goals, and we had some chances there late and it's up to the forwards then."

Video: DET@EDM: Bear nets wrister with help from Draisaitl


They said it

"I felt pretty good right off the bat. I knew I had to step up from my last game. I felt good all night. We just couldn't find a way to win." -- Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who allowed five goals in his previous start, a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday

"[Ethan] Bear has been amazing. It's fun to watch him. His confidence level is out of this league, he's doing everything right. It's great to watch him right now." -- Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen


Need to know

It was Green's first goal since Feb. 24, ending a nine-game drought, including the first seven games this season. ... Green has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 17 games against the Oilers. ... It was Edmonton general manager Ken Holland's first game against Detroit since he was hired May 7 after 22 years as Red Wings GM and another 12 in their front office before that. He won the Stanley Cup three times as GM (1998, 2002, 2008) and once as assistant GM (1997). ... Koskinen is the second goalie in Oilers history to win his first four games of a season (Andy Moog, 1983-84). ... Neal has had at least one point in six of his first eight games with Edmonton.


What's next

Red Wings: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN360, CITY, FS-D, NHL.TV)

Oilers: At the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, NHL.TV)

Video: Koskinen makes 25 saves in the Oilers' 2-1 victory

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