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Red Wings beat Oilers on late power-play goal

by Derek Van Diest /

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot took responsibility for a late, undisciplined penalty that led to a victory for the Detroit Red Wings at Rexall Place on Tuesday.

Pavel Datsyuk scored a tiebreaking power-play goal with 34 seconds remaining in regulation as the Red Wings took advantage of Pouliot's double minor for spearing to earn a 4-2 win.

Datsyuk broke a 2-2 tie when he centered the puck looking for Justin Abdelkader in front; instead, the pass hit the stick of Edmonton forward Matt Hendricks and went past goaltender Viktor Fasth. It came with Pouliot in the box for spearing speared Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson 1:36 after Jordan Eberle got the Oilers even at 2-2 with his second goal of the game.

"Pretty stupid," Pouliot said. "Mostly I just feel bad for the guys because we played hard. We battled back and then I go do something so stupid like that. It's unacceptable.

"It's a 2-2 game, Detroit in town, then I go do that with three minutes left. It's just stupid."

Luke Glendening hit the empty net at 19:57 with Pouliot still in the penalty box, capping Detroit's seventh consecutive victory against the Oilers.

"I just lost it, I guess, retaliated in a way that I shouldn't have," Pouliot said. "It's just frustrating. I feel shame, obviously, coming in here [dressing room] after seeing the guys going all-out, all night. And then I go do something so ridiculous at the end. I can't take it back now. I have to move on from it and learn that it was so stupid."

Kyle Quincey and Abdelkader also scored for Detroit (21-10-9). Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 21 saves to earn his 16th win of the season. He is 11-1-2 against the Oilers in 14 career decisions.

"That wasn't very smart. We can thank him [Pouliot] for that one," Quincey said after the Red Wings improved to 14-0-2 in their past 16 games against the Oilers. "That was very timely for us. We let off the gas a little bit and Eberle and those guys don't need much room. Pretty much any chance we gave them they scored on. It's tough to keep those guys down for the whole game. We were glad to get the two points here."

Edmonton went into the game looking for a second consecutive victory for the first time since Nov. 9. The Oilers (9-23-9) have lost 23 of their past 26 games.

Fasth made 37 saves for Edmonton but has not won a game since defeating the New York Rangers 3-1 on Nov. 9. He was making his third start in the Oilers' past 11 games.

"I think [Fasth] deserved a better fate, I thought we could get it into the extra frame [overtime] but it didn't work out that way," Oilers coach Todd Nelson said. "It's a positive that he played well tonight. He was calm in the net, and the goals that went in, the first one was a point-blank shot, the second was a tip in and the third we scored on our own net. He played a strong game and it's something that he can build on."

Eberle scored 15:29 into the first period to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead. Eberle gained possession of the puck in the left corner, went to the net and lifted a shot on the short side over Howard.

Quincey tied it at 10:44 of the second period with his second goal of the season. The defenseman jumped into the play and had the puck momentarily knocked off his stick in front of the net, but was able to regain possession and beat Fasth with a quick wrist shot.

Abdelkader scored a power-play goal at 18:39 of the second period to put Detroit up 2-1, tipping a Niklas Kronwall shot past Fasth. Detroit dominated play in the second period, outshooting Edmonton 14-7.

Eberle tied the game with 4:05 remaining in the third period when he took a cross-ice pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and beat Howard for his 10th goal of the season and fourth goal in four games.

"We had the puck for the majority of the night, yet the game was 2-2," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "That's just how the League is, night in and night out. You have to find a way to win these one-goal type games."

With 2:29 to play, Pouliot was assessed a double minor for spearing Ericsson behind the Detroit net, setting up the decisive power play.

"I think [Pouliot] understand exactly what happened and he expressed his thoughts on it," Nelson said. "It was a penalty that he would like to have back. Those things happen. It's one of those things that we have to learn from. Viktor gave us a chance to win, I thought he had a strong game and once we scored that second goal, we started to come. We got down shorthanded and gave up that goal that we put it into our own net. Those things happen, but we have to learn from it and move on."

The Red Wings continue their six-game road trip against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Edmonton host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday in third of a four-game homestand.

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