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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Red Wings

by Karmela Arocena / Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers were looking to snap a six game losing streak against a Detroit Red Wings team that had lost back-to-back games at home and that was missing key player Pavel Datsyuk.  Despite battling back from a 3-1 deficit in the third with goals from Theo Peckham and Sam Gagner, the Oilers failed to complete the comeback and lost 5-3 after Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm scored 44 seconds apart late in the third.

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

After they were able to tie the game at three in the third, it looked like the Oilers were going to be able to bring the game into overtime.  However, with 2:50 left in the third, an unlucky bounce off Ladislav Smid's skate made the score 4-3.  The goal totally turned the momentum around as 44 seconds later, Darren Helm was able to walk in and make the score 5-3.

35 The Oilers could only manage winning 35% of the draws tonight. Recent call-up Liam Reddox had the best percentage in the faceoff dot tonight at 55%.
15 Against a talented and skilled Detroit Red Wings team, the Oilers weren't able to play a physical game and only managed 15 hits.
2 The youth of the Oilers was prevelant tonight.  The Red Wings dressed 10 players over the age of 30 in tonight's game, while the Oilers only had 2 (Khabibulin and Vandermeer).
7 The Oilers have now lost seven straight games and will be looking to rebound from tonight's lost Thursday night at home against the New York Islanders.

Darren Helm
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 0 7

Sam Gagner
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 2

Todd Bertuzzi
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 E 1

Chris Osgood
25 22 3 60:00 .880

Nikolai Khabibulin
37 32 5 58:13 .865

Nicklas Lidstrom - D

23:18 - 2A, +2 rating

Tom Gilbert - D

27:55 - 0P, E rating

With the Red Wings leading 3-1, the Oilers were looking for any sort of momentum change.  They had a great chance late in the second when Colin Fraser skated in shorthanded and found the puck lying in the crease behind Chris Osgood.  Unfortunately, Detroit forward Johan Franzen was able to rob Fraser of a sure goal by scooping the puck right off of the goal line.

Sam Gagner had a brilliant third period for the Oilers, enough to earn him second star of the night.  After taking a pass from Ales Hemsky from behind the net in the third, he was able to feed Theo Peckham to cut the Oilers deficit to 3-2.  Seven minutes later, after winning a faceoff he quickly fired a shot that made it through Chris Osgood's 5-hole to tie the game.

Call-ups Liam Reddox and Linus Omark made an impression tonight, despite missing the morning skate.  They were able to get on the scoresheet mid-way through the first after using, what Reddox calls, a "drop and drive" play they use in the AHL, to set up Gilbert Brule, the Oilers first goal of the night.  Afterwards, they continued to fly by forechecking well and creating chances.  Omark now has six points in nine games with the big club.

Theo Peckham's third period goal was his second career NHL goal.  His only other goal also came against detroit in 6-2 loss at Joe Louis Arena in November earlier this season.

"The second period, I think they out-chanced us by nine or 10 chances. That's not good enough, obviously. We're a work in progress."

-  Head Coach Tom Renney on the Red Wings shut down abilities.

Thursday January 6 vs. New York Islanders
  7:00pm MT (Sportsnet / 630 CHED)

After having lost seven straight games, the Oilers hope to bounce back Thursday night at home against the New York Islanders.

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