EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers were painfully reminded that you can't afford to make any mistakes around the Detroit Red Wings - especially with under 30 seconds left in a tied game.
Valtteri Filppula scored with just 24.4 seconds left in regulation as the Wings ran their winning streak to six games in a row with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
After a back-and-forth third period, Filppula fought off Dick Tarnstrom and beat Oilers starter Dwayne Roloson high to the glove side.
"We were all thinking it was looking like overtime," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "We had a bad change on that play. The lane was occupied and we changed with the rush coming at us and exposed a lane and Dick got caught having to defend the wide lane.
"At the end of the day when you play them and have a chance to win, it is very disappointing. To have that evaporate in the last 30 seconds of a game, that's tough."
Henrik Zetterberg had the other goal for the Red Wings while Steve Staois replied for Edmonton.
Zetterberg kept his personal streak of a point in all 13 Detroit games this season alive, as the Red Wings improved to 10-2-1.
The NHL's scoring leader says his team is playing with a lot of self-assurance right now, a lot of that inspired by netminder Chris Osgood.
"He gives us so much confidence," Zetterberg said. "We know he is going to make the saves and we know we are going to get that break eventually.
"Sometimes one is good enough and tonight it was."
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock felt his team may have been a bit fortunate to get the two points.
"I don't think we were as committed as we usually are to get on the inside and get dirty," he said. "I didn't think we had good jump today but we found a way to win the game. We still controlled a lot of the game but we weren't Red Wing-like as far as getting after them and with our jump."
Edmonton (5-8-0) has lost two of its last three.
After coming so close to taking this match to overtime, to have it slip away with so little time left stung the Oiler players.
"That was rough," rookie Andrew Cogliano said. "I think if we had gone to overtime or a shootout we would maybe have even won it. It was a pretty good shot, that's all you can say."
A good night by Roloson was wasted as he stopped 32 shots in the losing cause.
"It's really frustrating, I don't know how else to put it," Staios said. "But it's something we have to bounce back from immediately. We did some good things tonight and we can't let one mistake discourage us when most of the game we did the right things."
The game remained scoreless through an energetic first period. Roloson was called upon to stop 13 shots in the first frame while Osgood made seven saves.
The Wings got on the scoreboard first, four minutes into the second as Niklas Lidstrom made a perfect feed to Zetterberg on the power play and he snapped home his 10th of the season for a 1-0 lead.
But Edmonton was able to respond less than two minutes later off the face-off as Staios blasted a shot from the point that beat Osgood high to the stick side.
Detroit carried the play for much of the second but the Oilers were able to survive with a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes.
The Red Wings conclude a three game road trip on Thursday in Calgary while Edmonton next plays host to Nashville on Friday.
Notes: Oiler defenceman Matt Greene had to be helped off the ice early in the second with an ankle injury after a collision with Dallas Drake. The Oilers are already a little thin on the blue-line with Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen on the limpa Drake (cheek bone) and Johan Franzen (knee) were both back in the lineup for Detroita Oilers captain Ethan Moreau, who has now gone a year since the last time he played for the Oilers in a regular season game Oct. 28, 2006, may still be two weeks away with a broken bone in his foota The Red Wings hadn't had much success of late in Edmonton with just two wins in Rexall Place since January of 1999, prior to Tuesday's victory. The Oilers had recorded a point in 14 of their last 15 home games against the Wings... Cogliano has two short-handed goals, tying him for the league lead with Niklas Hagman and Mike Richards.