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Three Questions: Wings-Oilers

DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 52nd game

Saturday, 02.7.2009 / 5:46 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Three Questions: Wings-Oilers
How did the Red Wings jump ahead so early?

When the Oilers gave the Red Wings an early opportunity to take the lead, they jumped on it, and never looked back. Goalie Dwayne Roloson slashed Dan Cleary between the legs 42-seconds into the game, and the Wings got revenge on the power play. Brian Rafalski took a pass, walked in to the top of the circle, and rifled a slapshot past Roloson. Marian Hossa made the goal happen, however. The Wings’ leading goal-scorer took a pass from Jiri Hudler, and instead of catching the puck with his stick, allowed the Edmonton defenseman to attack him and redirected the puck with his skate blade right onto Rafalski’s stick.

The Wings capitalized on their next power play opportunity as well, when Hossa scored his 29th of the season after tipping in a slapshot from Niklas Kronwall. There were two goals in between, but it was the best power play in the NHL that cracked this game wide-open. The Red Wings dominated the first period, out-shooting the Oilers, 16-5, and winning the scoring-chances battle 9-1. But it was because they capitalized on both power plays that the Wings really put the game away early.  

What was the trick to cracking the Edmonton goaltending?

The Red Wings did a great job of redirecting pucks at Roloson, making it difficult for him to locate and stop the Wings’ shots. On the Wings’ second goal, Brett Lebda scored by redirecting a pass from Kris Draper right on top of the Edmonton crease. On their third goal, Cleary redirected a fake slapshot from Kronwall while waiting next to the left post. Their forth was the tip from Hossa, and then the fifth was a Pavel Datsyuk redirection from a Henrik Zetterberg pass.

The best tip, however, was the last goal of the game, and the goal scorer was Ville Leino. Putting the exclamation mark on a big 8-3 win, Leino got his stick on a long shot from Kirk Maltby, completely changing the direction of the puck to beat back-up goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers, who replaced Roloson late in the first period.
 
Who was the star of the game?

I’m going with Kronwall. ‘Nik Jr.’ was all over the ice, picking up three primary assists in the 8-3 win. He skated for 16:40, playing 2:52 on the power play and 1:39 shorthanded. Most importantly, he finished at plus-2, helping pace the Wings in the big victory.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
8 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89