Red Wings beat Oilers 3-1 to break eight-game skid
The gloves and stick wrapping around Dylan Larkin belong to Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear as he tries to stop the Detroit center from shooting in the second period of Tuesday’s game.
The Red Wings not only snapped their losing streak, but they did it against the team of their former general manager.
Detroit defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena to halt its eight-game (0-7-1) losing streak.
“Great feeling, really, for us,” said Dylan Larkin, who had a goal and an assist.
Detroit played an outstanding all-around game as it dominated play in the first two periods. It held the superstar tandem of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a goal and an assist. And Jimmy Howard was outstanding in net with 31 saves.
“Our goalie was our best player. We needed that,” Larkin said. “I think we played a great first two periods. In the third, we could have been better.”
Larkin, along with Tyler Bertuzzi and Darren Helm, were matched up against the line of McDavid, Draisaitl and Zack Kassian.
“I thought Larkin’s line did a really good job on McDavid until the second half of the third period,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “… Larks plays his best hockey when he matches up against the other team’s best.”
Larkin and defenseman Patrik Nemeth scored less than a minute apart in the first period to give the Wings a 2-0 lead.
Larkin scored on the power play at 7:41, his fourth goal of the season, and Nemeth got his first goal as a Red Wing at 8:33.
Detroit held that margin until Drasiaitl scored with 7:12 left as he was set up by McDavid after Larkin’s giveaway in his own zone.
And with the teams playing 4-on-4, Larkin took a hooking penalty against McDavid with 6:25 left to give the Oilers a 4-on-3 power play. But unlike on Sunday, when the Red Wings allowed a late power-play goal to tie the game against the St. Louis Blues – Detroit ultimately lost that game in OT – they killed off Edmonton’s man advantage.
“I think we did a good job of taking away the Draisaitl one-timer,” Larkin said. “… You need a big save and a big block, and we got both of those.”
The block, of a Draisaitl one-timer attempt from the right circle, was by Nemeth, whose specialty is blocking shots.
“That was huge. You don’t want to take a penalty there but things happen,” Nemeth said about the penalty kill. “We did a really good job trying to take away the one-timer ... a lot of sticks and saves.”
Defenseman Filip Hronek’s empty-net goal with 42 second left clinched the victory. It was Hronek’s third goal.
“Wins breed confidence so it’s a huge way to find a way to win,” Blashill said.
Edmonton’s new GM, of course, is Ken Holland, who’s in his first season with the Oilers after 22 seasons in that position in Detroit and 36 years with the Red Wings organization. Detroit paid tribute to him on the Jumbotron during a stoppage of play in the first period.
… Defenseman Joe Hicketts was called up from Grand Rapids of the AHL and played on the second defense pairing with Mike Green. Dennis Cholowski, who had been playing that spot was a healthy scratch. The Wings want him to play better defensively.
… Adam Erne returned after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
… After Monday’s acquisition of Brendan Perlini – who was a healthy scratch Tuesday and is expected to make his Red Wings debut in Carolina on Friday – forward Evgeny Svechnikov was sent to Grand Rapids.