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GAME STORY: Red Wings 4, Oilers 0

Petr Mrazek posted a 36-save shutout performance as the Red Wings flew past the Oilers 4-0 on Sunday

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers came out of the gate with some gusto in Sunday's matinee match but the game slipped away as the goals against added up.

Petr Mrazek posted a 36-save shutout performance while Anthony Mantha and Martin Frk recorded two points apiece as the Red Wings flew past the Oilers 4-0, who fall to 4-8-1 on the season.

Video: OILERS TODAY | vs Red Wings Post-Game

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Cam Talbot made 31 saves on 35 shots, the Oilers won 59 percent of the faceoffs and failed to capitalize on their two power-play opportunities.

"I didn't think we had a lot of energy," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We had some admirable performances by guys that are probably a little further down in the lineup tonight, I thought they played well but we didn't have a lot of energy."

Despite the Oilers mustering early pressure from the opening faceoff, it was the Red Wings who got on the board twice in the first period.

Nick Jensen's point shot, sliding along the ice and seemingly going wide, was tipped neatly by Frans Nielsen at 3:23 to make it 1-0 Red Wings. 

Gustav Nyquist then extended the lead at 9:10. Edmonton failed to clear the puck from out front of the net and Nyquist eventually popped a loose puck behind a sprawled-out Talbot.

"We came out and didn't have a terrible start," said Oilers Captain Connor McDavid. "They kind of got a lucky one and the second one we could have avoided."

McDavid played 15:55 Sunday, much lower than he's used to.

"It's not very much fun to sit on the bench but it is what it is," he said regarding the reduced minutes.

McLellan commented on the drop in the top line's ice time following the game.

"Of our 13 games, they've probably been one of our top lines in 11 of those games and they carried the team," he said. "Some nights, they're going to have an off-night."

The Red Wings nearly got up by three after Andreas Athanasiou sliced his way through the middle ice but the puck slid past the right post.

After some of their energy waning in the first, the Oilers rebooted in the second period. The team generated a flurry of chances but couldn't beat Mrazek. 

Rookie Kailer Yamamoto and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shared a give-and-go that saw Yamamoto unload a one-timer but Mrazek was square to the shot.

Video: EDM Recap: Oilers can't solve Mrazek in shutout loss

The fourth line followed up the shift with a grinding one of their own. Iiro Pakarinen out-worked Jensen behind the goal, then wrapped the puck around while Zack Kassian banged at it from the crease.

"We had some chances but they got sticks in on it and bodies in on it," said McLellan.

Although the chances were prevalent, Detroit added to their two-goal lead with a Frk one-timer off the rush. A failed zone clear led to a 3-on-2 in the Oilers zone and Mantha was able to corral the puck, then dish it to Frk who made no mistake by blasting it past Talbot.

In the final stanza, Kassian was called for an illegal stick violation after playing the puck with his feet while holding onto a broken shaft. 

Video: THE OTHER SIDE | Red Wings Post-Game

Mantha would score on the man-advantage, recording his second point of the match. Frk ripped a slap shot and Mantha was on the doorstep to deposit the rebound, making it 4-0 Detroit at 6:30 of the third.

McLellan said his squad needs to play faster if they want to find success going forward, beginning on the upcoming four-game Eastern road swing.

"I don't think we defend quick enough," he said. "Our penalty kill isn't reacting fast enough, our power play doesn't react quick enough. There's plays there and a lot of these open nets that are laying there, we're just a fraction slow on firing the puck. We have to play faster."

The Oilers play the New York Islanders on Tuesday at 5:00 pm MST.

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