The Oilers road trip continues with a stop inn Pittsburgh for a duel with the Penguins on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. MT. It can be seen on Sportsnet or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
DETROIT, MI – Niklas Kronwall’s goal 26 seconds into overtime lifted the Red Wings to a 4-3 win and spoiled the Oilers comeback bid.
“We’ve got to get points,” said Oilers centre Mark Letestu. “3-on-3 overtime kind of becomes some shinny hockey and, much like the shootout, whoever makes that first mistake, it’s going in pretty early. To get points on the road in a tough building like this is always important. We’d love two, but we’ve got to scratch and claw to get every point we can.”
The Oilers were able to escape the first period tied 0-0, despite the Red Wings having multiple odd-man rushes in the game’s opening frame.
Cam Talbot seemed dialled in early, stopping one of the aforementioned rushes with a pad save and smothering a few loose pucks in tight.
“(Talbot) made some very good saves in the first half of the game where we didn’t have the puck very much,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I think that was pretty evident. He needed to make some real big saves to give us a chance to crawl back into it.”
Edmonton’s best scoring chance of the first came with just over four minutes to go in the period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ one-timer was stopped by Jimmy Howard as the goalie held it in tight and spun around to prevent a rebound.
The Oilers were under siege to start the second period. The Red Wings outshot the Oilers 8-0 to start the middle frame and the eighth shot belonged to Gustav Nyquist. Mike Green carried the puck through traffic and fired a shot on Talbot. The rebound popped out in front and Nyquist buried through a sea of bodies to give Detroit a 1-0 lead at 5:11. The goal was the forward’s eighth of the season.
Tomas Tatar had the second assist on that goal and he’d score himself later in the frame.
Tatar scored his eighth of the season at 12:07 of the second to make it a 2-0 game. Nyquist recorded the lone helper.
Anton Lander fed Iiro Pakarinen perfectly for the Oilers first of the night. Pakarinen’s one-timer strike at 15:17 of the second made it 2-1. Teddy Purcell recorded the second assist.
“It’s great to see Pak and our bottom six get rewarded for working hard,” said McLellan. “I thought that was one of Pak and Anton’s best nights.”
With 2:16 left in the second, Oilers defenceman Andrej Sekera tied the game with a one-timer from the slot on the power play. Letestu and Benoit Pouliot recorded the assists.
With just 36 seconds remaining in the second, Dylan Larkin tucked the puck under Talbot to give Detroit a 3-2 lead.
Pakarinen stole the puck in the offensive zone, turned and fired a shot past Howard to tie the game at 8:45 of the third.
“(Pakarinen) was determined there. Body position, strong and a quick release. Good individual effort,” said McLellan.
The Oilers brought the game to overtime, but a 2-on-1 rush resulted in Kronwall’s game-winning goal.
Edmonton (7-14-2) duels with the Penguins in Pittsburgh tomorrow night.