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game recap

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins lifts Oilers past Red Wings

Scores game-winning goal on power play late in second period

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Jonas Gustavsson made 22 saves, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to lift the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

With Edmonton on the power play, Connor McDavid took a pass from Nugent-Hopkins at the bottom of the right faceoff circle, waited for the Red Wings to swarm him, and then threaded a pass to Nugent-Hopkins at the left hash marks for his second goal of the season and a 2-1 Oilers lead with 20 seconds left in the period.

"On a night where Connor was a little quiet, he still found a way to make an impact on the most important play of the game," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "A lot of guys would have shot that puck."

 

WATCH: All Oilers vs. Red Wings highlights

 

It was McDavid's first game at Joe Louis Arena, where the Red Wings will play through this season before moving to Little Caesars Arena next season.

"This is a place with a lot of history," McDavid said. "You definitely get a sense of that here, and the fans are right on top of you, so it is a cool place to play."

The Oilers (9-3-1) have won two in a row following a three-game skid. They defeated the New York Islanders 4-3 in a shootout Saturday in the third of a five-game road trip.

Video: EDM@DET: Pitlick beats Howard with a wraparound

The Red Wings (6-6-1) have lost five straight (0-4-1).

It was Gustavsson's first NHL win since a 1-0 overtime victory for the Boston Bruins against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 8. The former Red Wings goalie was making his first start for the Oilers.

"Things usually even out, but so far, it has been good against Detroit," said Gustavsson, who played for the Red Wings from 2012-15 and is 4-1-0 against them in his career. "We just tried to keep things simple, especially with the one-goal lead in the third period."

It was Detroit's fourth regulation loss against Edmonton in their past 50 games (30-4-16). Jimmy Howard made 26 saves and is 13-2-2 against the Oilers in his career.

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead at 8:53 of the first period when Justin Abdelkader knocked a rebound past Gustavsson for a power-play goal.

Video: EDM@DET: Abdelkader bangs home rebound to net PPG

Tyler Pitlick scored to tie it 1-1 with 3:21 left in the first. Milan Lucic's shot went wide, but Pitlick got to the rebound behind the net and beat Howard with a wraparound shot inside the left post.

Howard kept the game tied with a tough save on Lucic early in the second, and Red Wings forward Riley Sheahan hit the crossbar midway through the period.

The Red Wings had four shots on goal in the third period.

"We should have the better of it against a team that played an overtime game on Saturday," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "We didn't, though, and that's a problem. They were able to batten down the hatches, and we didn't get anything going."

 
Goal of the game

McDavid was quiet for most of the game, but he created Edmonton's game-winning goal. When he received a pass from Nugent-Hopkins, Detroit's penalty-killers immediately focused on McDavid, allowing him to return the puck across the slot to Nugent-Hopkins, who had a wide-open net. "I didn't see the first pass very well, so I was behind on the play," Howard said. "I was trying to get into position for [McDavid] to shoot. He waited, and as soon as I went into the butterfly, he made that great pass to the other side."

Video: EDM@DET: Nugent-Hopkins nets PPG off McDavid's feed

 
Save of the game

Gustavsson prevented Steve Ott from giving the Red Wings a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. Ott took a pass on the left side and had a half-open net, but he put his shot too close to the center of the net, and Gustavsson had time to slide across and deflect it with his blocker at 10:44.

Video: EDM@DET: Gustavsson reaches out for superb stick save

 
Highlight of the game

Howard made a point-blank save against Patrick Maroon midway through the first period. Maroon one-timed a Jordan Eberle pass from behind the net, but Howard stretched out to block it with his left pad at 9:21.

Video: EDM@DET: Howard turns away a point-blank shot in 1st

 
Unsung moment of the game

In the second period, McLellan short-shifted McDavid to get him away from Red Wings center Darren Helm, who was named the Third Star for his defensive performance. McDavid didn't have a shot on goal in 18:36 of ice time and won four of 13 faceoffs.

 
They said it

"We spent a lot of time in their end, but we weren't getting enough shots. We have to get pucks and people to the net." -- Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg

 

"If that pass gets knocked down or picked off, we're having a debate about why I didn't shoot. Luckily, it worked out." -- Oilers captain Connor McDavid on his assist on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' game-winning goal

 
Need to know

Gustavsson played 41 games for Detroit as Howard's backup from 2012-15. He was 21-10-6 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. … The Red Wings entered Sunday 21-1-4 against the Oilers in their previous 26 games at Joe Louis Arena. … McDavid will face Sidney Crosby for the first time when Edmonton plays at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

 
What's next

Oilers: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ROOT, SNW, NHL.TV)

Red Wings: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, FS-D, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Gustavsson's 22 saves power Oilers to 2-1 victory

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