DETROIT - The Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers are young and fast and capable of overcoming adversity.
The Oilers, who are missing several players with injuries and who played Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York, against the New York Islanders, defeated the Red Wings 2-1 Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena.
1. Justin Abdelkader : Wings coach Jeff Blashill recently told both Justin Abdelkader and Tomas Tatar to keep playing the way they were playing and the scoring would come. That has come to pass for Abdelkader, who scored a goal for the second straight game. At 8:53 of the first period, Abdelkader went to the net during the Wings' power play and put the rebound of Brendan Smith's shot past Oilers goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. It is the first power-play goal the Oilers have allowed on the road in 18 chances and only their fourth power-play goal allowed this season. It gives Abdelkader 12 points in 19 career games against the Oilers, tied for his highest total against any opponent. He also has 19 points against the St. Louis Blues.
Quotable: "It's a good league, it's a tight league. A lot of these games are going to be one goal, but we got to find a way to bury our chances. We just need a little bit more out of everyone. We got to find ways to win these games and not lose them. Anytime you lose some games in a row, you got to dig deep and find a way. It's never easy to break a steak like that. We just got to find a way to, like Henrik (Zetterberg) said, get pucks to the net, bodies to the net. We're doing a lot of good things out there but not enough to win." - Abdelkader
2. Jonas Gustavsson: The Wings know Gustavsson well from his time in Detroit from 2012-15. Gustavsson made 22 saves to improve to 4-1 all-time against the Wings. Two of those previous wins came with Toronto and the other with Boston. It was Gustavsson's first start of the season, coming in the second of back-to-back games for the Oilers, who beat the Islanders in a shootout Saturday night.
Quotable: "Obviously they're a good team and they've been a good team for many, many years. Any game, it doesn't matter who you play, it's a big game. There's a small difference between letting four goals in and letting one goal in. It could be a deflection and all that sort of stuff. Usually it evens out, but so far so good against Detroit." - Gustavsson
3. 5-game losing streak: Counting the overtime loss in Philadelphia last Wednesday, the Wings have lost five straight games. This comes after a six-game winning streak.
Quotable: "I don't think there's one thread. As I've said lots, we're trying to get better. We focused on a couple of areas. One of those areas was breaking the puck out and we did a way better job. Another one of those areas was grinding in the O-zone and I'm betting our O-zone time was better than it's been. But now we've got to take another step and making sure we're getting more bodies and pucks to the net. But with all that said, you've got to flip a play here and flip a play there and all of a sudden you're winning again. We can't let frustration - and we're all big-time disappointed and frustrated - but you've got to put that behind us. We've got no time for that at all. We've got to find a way tomorrow to get better and find a way to go into Philly and get a win on Tuesday." - Blashill