DET Datsyuk 4 (Brunner, Zetterberg) 8:33 PP
EDM J.Schultz 4 (Eberle, Hartikainen) 17:55 PP
DET Kronwall 1 (Datsyuk, Zetterberg) 6:08 PP
Nikolai Khabibulin 28/30
Jimmy Howard 23/24
- The Oilers played hard but came up short once again. Seems to be the theme of the run the Oilers have been on lately. The good news is the Oilers seem to never be out of a game, at least on paper. The bad news is they seem to make a 2-1 lead seem insurmountable like they did this afternoon. The Oilers were a little too passive in this one and that plays right into the hands of the Red Wings. The Oilers also lost the special teams battle, something they needed to win to have a chance in this game. They managed to battle the 5v5 to a stalemate which is a positive for the Oilers who have been getting buried in that department. The Oilers are accustomed to being totally outclassed in Joe Louis Arena over the years but the Oilers hung around this game which is a small victory. But a loss is a loss and the Oilers head into Columbus needing a win tomorrow afternoon. As expected the line shuffling 5v5 didn't produce any results. The Oilers will likely stick with it heading into Columbus tomorrow.
Player Of The Game:
- Nikolai Khabibulin G - For a guy who hasn't played a game in over ten months, he looked sharp this afternoon. Literally no rust and was quick to react going side to side, making several big saves to keep the Oilers in this one. I'd continue to be cautious with Khabibulin, but it was nice to know that Khabibulin was able to tend twine against a formidable foe and not look like a train wreck. I guess you could say expectations were low, but he passed the first test of the season. It's also nice to know that the Oilers don't have to play the heck out of Dubnyk this year. Dubnyk will need some breaks at points this season.
Goat Of The Game:
- Ryan Smyth C - Ryan Smyth lost his marbles out their in the 2nd period on a ticky tack offside call that ended up in him getting a 10 minute misconduct. On a team that is ravaged by injury to most of its vets, it was important that Smyth take a regular shift. Ryan Smyth's goal totals may never be there again, but the Oilers need his reliability on the ice more than ever. I hope it was a gesture to try and wake up his hockey club that slept walked through the first half of the game. If not, it was a pretty selfish play on his part.
Next Game - Sunday February 10, 2013 vs. Blue Jackets @ Columbus 4 PM MT on Sportnet West.