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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Red Wings 3

Four different Oilers scored and David Desharnais got his first point with Edmonton, as the Oil beat Detroit 4-3

by Chris Wescott / EdmontonOilers.com Head Writer

EDMONTON, AB - A late third-period goal from Patrick Maroon gave Edmonton a two-goal lead, and while Detroit would score late, the Oilers escaped with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Red Wings to kick off an eight-game home stand.

"Really big win," said Oilers captain Connor McDavid. "Playoff time is definitely upon us. Everyone is kind of fighting for it, so it was definitely big to get these first two points at home."

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Just 1:41 into the game, the Oilers captain brought the home crowd to its feet. McDavid used his speed to get around the Detroit defence and drove the net. The Oilers captain went forehand to backhand, depositing the puck in at the post past Petr Mrazek's outstretched pad. The goal was McDavid's 22nd of the season, and was assisted by defenceman Adam Larsson.

Edmonton nearly took a two-goal lead at 4:15 of the first when McDavid again came down the ice with the puck. McDavid dropped it for Leon Draisaitl, who set up Eric Gryba in the slot. The defenceman got a shot off but Mrazek jumped in front of it. The shot marked the fourth for the Oilers of the game, while Detroit was still searching for their first.

Despite early dominance by the Oil, Detroit evened the score at 15:04 of the opening frame. Anthony Mantha potted his 14th of the season from the slot to make it 1-1.

The game got physical when Matt Hendricks hammered Ryan Sproul with a hit by the Detroit bench. The Red Wings defenceman flipped backwards over the boards and into the bench area, drawing applause from the Rogers Place faithful.

On the very next shift, Larsson scored to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead. Trade Deadline acquisition David Desharnais won the offensive zone draw, sending the puck back to the blueline. Larsson fired the puck on net and it found its way past Mrazek at 19:38 of the first frame.

Desharnais picked up his first point as an Oiler.

"It was great to have the first game," said Desharnais, who appeared to have some immediate chemistry with his linemates, Kassian and Drake Caggiula, in his first game with his new team.

"Kass is a big man. He opens up a lot of space for me and I felt great out there."

Through the first two periods, Edmonton had the edge in shots 27-12, but goals were tough to come by.

Gryba had a great scoring opportunity in the slot early in the third, off a feed by Desharnais but Mrazek flashed the leather for a huge glove save.

The Oilers kept with the game plan and eventually broke through Mrazek for their third goal. On a rush, Jordan Eberle cut through the slot and backhanded a shot past the Red Wings goaltender at 6:58 of the final frame, notching his 14th marker of the year.

"We were creating some chances early in the game and they weren't coming but we found a way to break through there," said Eberle. "I don't know if it went off his skate or his foot but it was nice to get a bounce."

The Red Wings gained some life at 10:26 of the third. Darren Helm beat Cam Talbot five-hole on a breakaway to pull Detroit to within one, at 3-2.

Edmonton stole back the two-goal lead at 14:02 of the third. Draisaitl centred a pass in front for Maroon and the big winger buried his 21st of the season.

With 35 seconds to play, Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit to make things interesting but Edmonton held on for the narrow victory.

"I thought we created numerous chances, but couldn't finish," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "Sometimes when you're doing that, you get a little loose going the other way. It didn't happen that way in the game. They got behind us on the one, but I'm glad the way we stuck with it."

The Oilers (35-22-8) next host the New York Islanders Tuesday night, at 7 PM MT.

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