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Under the Scope: Oilers at Red Wings

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton struck early, but Detroit made the most of some late-game heroics from Pavel Datsyuk. For 59:36 this evening, the Red Wings were held scoreless; the lone Oilers marker, scored early in the opening period by Ryan Jones, appeared to present the only requirement on the scoreboard. With 24 seconds to play, a Nick Lidstrom point shot was redirected past Devan Dubnyk by teammate Andrew Cogliano, squaring the score and setting the stage for a momentum-changing overtime session.

The Oilers were able to secure most of the chances in overtime, but strong goaltending by Jimmy Howard helped keep the action in play. After a series of excellent opportunities were turned aside by the aforementioned Wings netminder, Detroit capitalized on wayward coverage in the Oilers zone. Datsyuk sniped home the game-winning goal at 4:17 to propel his club to a 2-1 victory.

Devan Dubnyk came within seconds of recording his second career NHL shutout, but instead settled for the overtime loss, preserving his .500 winning percentage with a 10-10-7 record on the season. In the loss, Dubnyk stood tall with an incredible 42 saves highlighting his night.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

Although Edmonton came out early and set the pace against the high-flying and supremely talented Red Wings, Detroit began to push back during the second and third periods once the Oilers had established a 1-0 lead. That push eventually led to the game-tying goal late in the third period, when Nick Lidstrom's point shot was redirected by Andrew Cogliano past Devan Dubnyk. The goal squared the game, sending it to overtime and ultimately setting the stage for a sudden Red Wings victory. The Oilers battled hard, but could not hold on in the waning moments against the highly-skilled home side.

39 Edmonton could only muster a 39% success rate in the faceoff circle tonight. Liam Reddox posted the best result, with a 3-1, 50% outing in the dot. Gilbert Brule was a close second, having produced a 5-5, 50% clip.
51 Although the Oilers and Red Wings are not typically known for an outgoing physical presence, the rough showcase was on display tonight. In total, the two teams accumulated 51 hits on the night: Edmonton recorded 24, while Detroit responded with 27.
38 The Oilers dominated the opening period, but the Red Wings pushed back hard in the final two periods and overtime. In total, the home side recorded 38 shots in the final two periods, including the extra session, while the Oilers could only manage 19 in that same period of time.

Devan Dubnyk
44 42 64:18 .955

Pavel Datsyuk
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +2 6

Nick Lidstrom
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 6

Jimmy Howard
27 26 1 63:31 .963

Devan Dubnyk
44 42 2 64:18 .955

Niklas Kronwall - D

29:16 - 1A, +1 rating

Tom Gilbert - D

28:12 - 0P, -1 rating

With the Oilers pressuring on a second period power-play opportunity, Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard came up huge for his squad to keep the game within reach. In a sequence that featured a number of glorious scoring chances, recent call-up Alex Giroux had the best look as Edmonton appeared to lock in on a two-goal advantage. With a sprawling Howard leaving the gaping cage in sight, Giroux corralled the puck at the top of the goal crease before releasing a low shot along the ice. It appeared to be going in, but Howard arrived with a circus-like stretch to deny the sniper with his left pad.

Rookie goaltender Devan Dubnyk continues to improve as the season has progressed. With Nikolai Khabibulin back from the sidelines, Dubnyk made his return to the crease tonight and was looking to improve on his .500 personal record. The six-foot-six netminder nearly accomplished that, making 42 saves in the overtime loss; setting his personal record at 10-10-7 on the season. Although the result was certainly disappointing following the hard-fought battle, Dubnyk provided his club with a chance.

Ryan Jones was once again a force for the Oilers and most certainly one of the team's stand-out performers. Tonight, Jones played a season high 24:50, including 3:21 shorthanded, while recording three hits and four shots on goal. For much of the night, his goal scored in the opening period appeared to stand as the game-winner, but the Red Wings spoiled the fun. Overall, another fabulous night for the 26-year-old that has now scored 15 goals on the season.

The Oilers brought a unique brand of physical play tonight that certainly turned heads and helped to quell the overbearing skill of the Red Wings power-play. Tomas Holmstrom, who parks at the top of the crease during each opportunity, was roughly treated by the entire Oilers defence group tonight. Jim Vandermeer in particular brought a number of violent cross-checks that helped to remove the Wings forward from the area, thus negating the immediate threat at the goal-mouth.

TOI: 0:00

In an amazingly rare circumstance, Steve MacIntyre did not receive a single shift tonight. As expected, this is the first time that any Oilers player has experienced this all season.

"I'm damn proud of our hockey club tonight."

-  Head Coach Tom Renney succinctly recognizes his team's effort in the 2-1 overtime loss to the Red Wings.

Sunday, March 13 at Pittsburgh
  1:00pm MDT (SNET-W / 630 CHED)

Edmonton's extensive road trip comes to a close Sunday afternoon when the Oilers and Penguins clash at the brand new Consol Energy Center. Game-time is 1:00pm MDT and can be seen on Sportsnet West.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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