Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings-Oilers wrap-up: Wings take a game played the right way; what about today?

The Detroit Red Wings' 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers consisted of a hard-working performance belonging to one of those few NHL games that you can call a "thing of beauty," a game in which the Red Wings and Oilers went toe-to-toe instead of check-to-check and played honest, hard-fought and generally clean hockey while roaring up and down the ice in the kind of game you don't see very often in the muck-and-grind-and-trap-fests that seem to plague the NHL.

For the Red Wings, coming off a hard-fought game against the Blues, and facing a standard of officiating that was way, way tighter than it was in St. Louis, being able to both prove that it could adapt to a completely different and more Wings-like style of "turn and burn" hockey and bring their special teams out of the gutter was nothing less than monumental...

But the Wings also know that whether they can be deemed to have truly established a new identity or remain a team that takes two steps forward and an inconsistent step back will be determined by how they perform against the Los Angeles Kings today (12:30 PM EST, NBC/TSN/97.1 FM, and today the Wings are collecting smoke detectors for charity).

On Saturday, two Russians over the stole the show, however, and my favorite non-Wings goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin (I may play like Kirk McLean, the last of the stand-up goaltenders, but Khabibulin was fantastic playing for the Jets at a time when I spent three weeks of every summer in Winnipeg), nearly earned the Oilers a victory while playing in his first game in 11 months, and while playing at age 40. ESPN's Craig Custance gave Khabibulin due praise for his efforts:

If you go 10 months without playing a single game as a starting goalie, the questions creep in. Especially if you're 40 years old, like Nikolai Khabibulin.

On Friday, Khabibulin got word he'd be making his first start of the season on Saturday afternoon against the Red Wings and their two offensive stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. That's challenging enough.

Considering he hadn't played since March 30 or won a game since Feb. 11 of last year, it was even tougher.

The win will have to wait, but the doubt as to whether or not he can be effective this season is gone. Khabibulin's 28 saves in a 2-1 loss to the Red Wings proved he can be a contributor this year for the Oilers. The only two Red Wings goals came on the power play, and he was a perfect 23-for-23 during even strength.

"I felt better than I thought I would," Khabibulin said afterwards.

Khabibulin did play valiantly, but he shrugged off his performance while speaking to the Edmonton Journal's Joanne Ireland...

“I felt better than I thought I would. It helped that they got a few shots early,” said Khabibulin. “I’m not going to say it was easy to play, but I felt pretty good out there You don’t know which way it’s going to go, and you wonder, but my thought before the game was just to keep it simple, stop the shots I’m supposed to, and see what happens on the scoring chances. It’s just nice to get the first one out of the way,” he continued. “It’s a good feeling knowing that it seems like everything is normal. Physically, I felt great and that was a question for me.”

And both Khabibulin's coach and teammates were disappointed that they couldn't deliver for their veteran back-up:

“Nikolai, coming off such a long break without playing, really came to compete. He gave us an opportunity,” said coach Ralph Krueger. “It was disappointing that specialty teams, which have been so strong for us this year, really deserted us. The power play especially. We would have liked more movement and more opportunities than we had. We had an opportunity to take points off it in the third and we didn’t. The guys didn’t quit, but extremely disappointing result. These points are gone.”

...

“We have to give these guys a chance to win, whether it’s digging in a little bit more, blocking a few more shots, finding a way to get the puck in deep to take a little heat and pressure off of both of them,” said Ryan Smyth. “But it was nice to see Khabby pull through the way he did after what he’s been through. He played fantastic.”

Eric Belanger is expected back for the game against the Blue Jackets and Mark Fistric will return to the blue-line. The Oilers were 3-1 versus the Blue Jackets last season.

“(Khabibulin) was awesome tonight,” said Sam Gagner, whose 10-game point streak came to an end in Detroit. “You have to give him a lot of credit for keeping it that close. It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to score at the end there to give him some help. We have to be better. Look at (the Red Wings). Their best players work so hard to get the puck back that they’re created chances for themselves. It’s something we have to improve at. We will.”

The Oilers are winless in five (with some shootout and OT losses to their credit), and they knew that special teams cost them the game, as they told the Edmonton Sun's Derek Van Diest, who notes that after Pavel Datsyuk scored a net-jam goal in the first, the Oilers made the Wings and their fans sweat thanks to a power play goal of their own:

Khabibulin kept the deficit at one with an outstanding save on Damien Brunner later in the period, sliding across to get a pad on a tip in front of the net.

The Oilers tied the game when Schultz collected his fourth of the season, snapping a point-shot past a screened Jimmy Howard in goal. Howard did not see the shot as Teemu Hartikainen was parked in front.

“He’s good in front of the net and in the corners and does a great job of screening,” said Schultz, who has scored all his goals on the power play this season. “We had done it all year in Oklahoma City. All I have to do is try to get the puck through and it went in.”

Despite the goal, the Oilers power play struggled for the most part, going 1-for-8 against the Wings, who went into the contest with  the second-worst penalty-killing unit in the league. The Oilers had a great opportunity to take the lead midway through the third period when they had a two-man advantage for over a minute, but couldn’t generate a clear-cut chance.

Then the Red Wings were given an opportunity when Chris VandeVelde was sent to the penalty box on a hook. Kronwall made the rookie have to take the skate of shame across the ice, blowing a shot over Khabibulin from the point.

“We just don’t have the speed or the puck movement on the power play that we’re used to when we’re on,” said Krueger. “It was a stall here and a stall there, maybe looking for the perfect play versus the pressure to the net with some simple plays.”

Van Diest offers the following summary of the game...

WHY OILERS LOST: They can’t score five on five. At least in the past they were getting good chances, but against the Red Wings, they had trouble even generating those. It didn’t help matters that the power play, which is accounting for most of their scoring struggled, limited to one goal on numberous chances.

BIG PLAY: Niklas Kronwall steps into a point-shot on the power play, that sails over Nikolai Khabibulin’s shoulder and into the net for the winning goal in the third period. It was Kronwall's first goal of the year.

BIG SAVE: Nikolai Khabibulin reads a pass coming out of the corner, is able to slide across and get a toe on Damien Brunner’s tip in front to keep the game tied in second period.

And if you're interested in player grades, the Edmonton Journal's Bruce McCurdy provides them (I can't do both this and player grades on a nightly basis, but I'm going to post some first-quarter grades this week, and I plan on making "Radon Thoughts" more regular), but we're going to wrap up the Oilers' side of the story with EdmontonOilers.com's Ryan Frankson's "Under the Scope" game summation:

The Turning Point: The Oilers were one-for-six on the power play against Detroit, but no missed opportunity was more costly than the five-on-three advantage they had early in the third period. Shortly after the Red Wings returned to full strength, Chris VandeVelde took a hooking penalty leading to Niklas Kronwall's game-winning PPG with 13:52 to go in regulation.

Play of the game: Nikolai Khabibulin hadn't started game since March 30, 2012, but you wouldn't have known it with the phenomenal pad save he made point-blank on Damien Brunner late in the middle frame, leading to Justin Schultz's power-play goal.

The MVP: Red Wings superstar Pavel Datsyuk was a force all game long, scoring the opening goal on the power play and setting up Kronwall's power-play game-winner. He also logged 21:23 of ice time, 4:34 shorthanded, and went 13-for-18 in the faceoff dot.

The Wings went 33-and-17 in the faceoff circle, which is just remarkable.

The unsung hero: Oilers winger Teemu Hartikainen logged 16:48 of ice time against Detroit, recorded a takeaway and tallied an assist on Justin Schultz's goal while also providing a crucial screen in front of goalie Jimmy Howard on the play.

Useless stat of the day: The Red Wings have now earned at least a single point in 23 of their last 24 meetings with the Oilers. Detroit has a 16-1-7 record during that time, with Edmonton's lone win during that span coming in December 2009.

They said it: "He really came to compete and was a leader in this game. He gave us a chance to win, and he deserved a win."

– Oilers Head Coach Ralph Krueger on goalie Nikolai Khabibulin

The Associated Press's recap succinctly shifts us from the Oilers' perspectives to those of the Red Wings' coach and players:

"I thought we did a pretty good job," [Niklas] Kronwall said. "We would have liked the other one back. Overall we did a good job of staying aggressive and not giving them too much room."

Henrik Zetterberg had two assists, and Jimmy Howard made 23 saves for Detroit (6-4-1). Rookie defenseman Justin Schultz scored the lone goal for Edmonton (4-4-3), and 40-year-old Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 28 shots in his first game of the season.

"Disappointed, of course, with our specialty teams, which has been very strong this season. Today they deserted us," Oilers coach Ralph Krueger said.

Kronwall's power-play tally at 6:08 of the third period gave Detroit a 2-1 lead. His first goal of the season was scored with a slap shot from the high slot. The goal came as Edmonton's Chris VandeVelde served a penalty for hooking Justin Abdelkader.

"Mule (Johan Franzen) once again did a great job in front. I finally was able to get one on the net," said Kronwall, who has nine points in 10 games. "We talked a lot about shooting the puck. Mule is going to be there all night long. The rest of us have to do a better job getting pucks in there."

Detroit entered Saturday with the No. 26 power play in the NHL. The Red Wings killed off a two-man disadvantage that lasted 1:07 early in the third period.

"They had a few chances, but we battled. We tried to keep the shots away, lots of blocks," Datsyuk said. "Our defensemen did lots of blocks, and Jimmy got lots of confidence and made it easy for us with lots of saves. We practice penalty kill every practice, so it gets better in the game. We're picking up every day. It's hard to jump right back to the top, but we're taking it step by step."

The Wings definitely understood that their improved special teams play was essential on Saturday, as they told the Detroit Free Press's George Sipple...

“Well, obviously specialty teams are important,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock. “I thought our penalty kill was outstanding; obviously, our power play was good. We started the year out with a plan that we could spread out the ice time with so much hockey in so short a time, and our specialty teams on the penalty kill hadn’t been as good, so we played the big guys on it way more tonight, and they were real aggressive and we were better. Good for us and good win for us.”

Goaltender Jimmy Howard said the key was keeping the Oilers to the outside when they were on the power play.

“You can’t let them penetrate in the middle,” Howard said. “That’s when chaos can break out. Just force the puck into some bad-angle shots, and we were able to do that.”

Kronwall played a game-high 28 shifts and led the Wings with three blocked shots. He has nine points in his past 10 games. Kronwall credited teammates Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk for his recent offensive production.

“It was nice to get it over with,” Kronwall said of his first goal. “Mule once again did a great job in front. Finally was able to get one on the net, and it went in. We talk a lot about shooting the puck, and Mule’s going to be there all night long. The rest of us have to do a little bit better job putting the pucks in there.”

Datsyuk had a goal and an assist, Zetterberg had two assists, and Howard made 23 saves.

As for his nine points, Kronwall said: “That’s what happens if you get a chance to play with Pav and Hank. It hasn’t always been the effort of myself, but the skill of those guys. You take them any way you can. It’s about winning the games.”

...

“I thought we did a pretty good job tonight,” Kronwall said of the penalty kill. “Obviously, we would have liked to have the other one back. … I thought overall we did a good job of staying aggressive and not giving them too much room.”

But the uptick in power play time came at the expense of some wear and tear on the Wings' top players, as Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji noted...

Although Daniel Cleary, Drew Miller and Jonathan Ericsson get the bulk of time on the penalty kill, the stars must make up the difference. They did so splendidly Saturday — Datsyuk played 4:34 of his 21:23 shorthanded, Zetterberg 3:47 of 21:08, Filppula 2:01 of 19:02 and Kronwall 5:14 of 22:40 — and the Wings killed off five of the Oilers' six power plays.

"I thought our penalty kill was outstanding," coach Mike Babcock said.

Edmonton's lone goal came with a two-man advantage. The Oilers had another 5-on-3 — with the score tied at a goal apiece early in the third period — but the Wings not only killed it off, they didn't allow a shot on net. Late in the third, after Kronwall had scored on the power play to give the Wings a 2-1 lead, the Oilers pulled their goaltender to get a 6-on-4 chance. Once again, the Wings killed it off.

"Those are big," Miller said. "The 'D' are out there sacrificing their bodies, trying to make the big plays. I thought that was great there in the end. We had a lot of penalties to kill there late in the third, in a close game. I’d say the penalty kill came up big and Howie (Jimmy Howard) made some big saves."

In this compressed, 48-game schedule, the Wings can't afford to leave two points on the ice. Still, Kronwall knows that the Wings are better served when Datsyuk can stick to playing with a man advantage or even strength.

"We don’t want to waste his energy playing PK," Kronwall said. "We’ll have to stay out of the box and play 5-on-5 or 4-on-4 instead, and he can do his magic that way. I would hate for him to get hurt by a shot or something like that, but at the same time, he’s so smart that a lot of times the D-men won’t shoot the puck because he’s already in the lane."

And it was most certainly Datsyuk's night at both ends of the night, as DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose points out:

“He’s got the whole package,” Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall said. “It doesn’t matter what position you put him in, he’s going to be your best player.”

Datsyuk scored for the fourth time on Saturday, helping lift the Wings to a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers before a matinee crowd at Joe Louis Arena. Not surprising, Detroit is 4-0-0 when the Russian stars has scored. What’s a bit stunning is that since the 2010-11 season the Red Wings are 37-1-5 when Datsyuk scores in a game. And over the last eight-plus seasons, Detroit is 148-24-24 – that’s a remarkable .816 winning percentage.

Datsyuk got the Wings going when he scored his third power-play goal of the season at 8:33 of the second period. It gave the Wings a 1-0 lead before the Oilers scored their own power-play goal later in the period. Kronwall was the recipient of some Datsyukian magic, which led to the defenseman’s game-winning goal Saturday afternoon.

“That’s just another one of his magical players,” said Kronwall, who scored on the power play. “I think a lot of people would have decided to shoot the puck, but he passed it instead. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t see it coming but that’s what we get from Pav, he does the unexpected, which is why he’s so successful.”

Datsyuk was a factor in every facet of the game Saturday, including the penalty kill, where he logged 4 ½ minutes of ice-time. With the club battling injuries to key guys who routinely kill penalties, particularly Darren Helm (back), it’s not an ideal situation for Datsyuk to be playing on the special team unit. The Wings needed every ounce of energy that Datsyuk could provide on the penalty kill, limiting the Oilers to one goal on eight power play chances.

“We don’t want to waste his energy playing PK,” Kronwall said. “We’ll have to stay out of the box and play 5-on-5 or 4-on-4 instead and we can do his magic that way. I would hate for him to get hurt by a shot or something like that, but at the same time he’s so smart that a lot of times the D man won’t shoot the puck because he’s already in the lane.”

Roose also says that Datsyuk leads the NHL in takeaways with 12--which is pretty damn impressive given that cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus rarely register takeaways for opposing teams--and he sure picked Taylor Hall's pocket in the first period, doing so with a thoroughness that left Hall flummoxed:

“I didn’t know until I was coming off the ice that it was Datsyuk,” Hall admitted. “If I would have known, I probably would have protected the puck better, because he’s so good at taking the puck away from guys.”

Datsyuk and the Wings were very happy with their special teams play, as they told the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

“We did a good job pushing them to the outside, really not giving them much,” said Wings goalie Jimmy Howard after the 2-1 win over Edmonton. “Can’t let them penetrate the middle. We tried to force the puck to some bad angle shots.”

“Special teams are very important,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose limited the Oilers to one goal on eight power play chances. “I thought our penalty kill was outstanding. We started the year with a plan that we could spread out the ice time with so much hockey in so short a time and our specialty teams on the penalty kill hadn’t been as good so we played the big guys on it way more here tonight and they were more aggressive and we were better on it.”

...

“I thought we did a pretty good job,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We would have liked the other one back, but overall we did a good job of staying aggressive and not giving them too much room.”

The Wings penalty kill was ranked 29th in the league, at 69.6 percent.

“We’re not too happy with where our percentage,” Drew Miller said. “We know we have a good group of guys out there killing and we know we’re capable of getting it done. It’s just keep believing in that and executing.”

...

“They had a few chances, but we battled,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “We tried to keep the shots away, lots of blocks. Our defenseman did lots of blocks. We’re picking up every day. It’s hard to jump right back to the top, but we’re taking it step by step.”

“The D are out there sacrificing their bodies, trying to make the big plays,” Miller said. “I thought that was great there in the end. We had a lot of penalties to kill there late in the third, in a close game. I’d say the penalty kill came up big and Howie made some big saves.”

But while Pleiness noted that the Wings received oodles of praise from the Oilers...

“They really played us hard,” Kruger said of the Wings’ performance. “The compete level of the Red Wings was exemplary. It’s something you need to look at and say, ‘That’s the level you want to get to.’ I thought they really came out and played desperate all the way through the game and showed us the level we need to get to. Howard was outstanding in a lot of critical situations for them.”

The Wings felt that the good feelings surrounding Saturday's win were and are incredibly provisional upon beating Los Angeles today (Howard will start; I wouldn't be surprised to see Petr Mrazek play against St. Louis on Wednesday):

"It feels like we’re a work in progress and we gotta continue to get better,” said Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose squad last followed up a win over the Blues with a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. “I thought we played a good game last game, came back and followed it up. Now we gotta follow it up tomorrow against a heavy team. It’s going to be a test.”

The Wings turn right around and host the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday afternoon.

“I just think if we remain competitive and we keep getting better, we have a chance to be a good hockey club,” Babcock said. “I think our back end’s rounding into shape here so we’re getting better.”

“It can all change back tomorrow (standings),” Henrik Zetterberg said. “It’s so many games and close schedule so you don’t keep playing well, you won’t win a playoff spot. You’ve got to keep winning games. We did the job today and we’ve got to do it tomorrow again.”

Babcock was actually worried about his management of his top players' time, as he told MLive's Ansar Khan...

The Detroit Red Wings just wrapped up a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena, when coach Mike Babcock glanced at the stat sheet and then his watch.

“We play in 22 hours,'' Babcock said. “I played my big guys too much. You got to win the game, but you've got a game in 22 hours. I guess we'll deal with that tomorrow."

The Red Wings (6-4-1) don't have much time to re-energize. They host the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in a nationally televised game on NBC. The Kings (3-4-2) are off to a sluggish start, but they've had two days to rest and prepare.

Babcock played his big guys, Pavel Datsyuk (21:23) and Henrik Zetterberg (21:08), a little more than he would have liked, especially on the penalty kill. But, that's what helped them earn an important two points.

But the Wings did take some time to reflect upon what they did well while speaking to the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa...

"It always helps when you score on the power play," Datsyuk said. "It's much easier to play. We had more power plays. But we get two. It's getting better."

Datsyuk has 12 points through 11 games. With play about even between the teams throughout much of the game, Khabibulin and Jimmy Howard had to be strong in the nets. Both were effective.

"I thought Khabibulin was outstanding," Babcock said. "On both goals we scored, he had no chance. The one on Howie, he couldn't see it, either. So I thought it was good net presence."

Howard fought the puck at times, as he tends to do after a lay-off, but he was stellar and was perhaps at his best when remarkable toe saves or net-sealing plays simply went unnotticed because his size and strength prevented the Oilers' forwards from shoving both Howard and the puck into the net.

Good stuff? There was, as Babcock might say, "lots" of good stuff to talk about...

"I thought we did a pretty good job (on the penalty kill)," Kronwall said. "Obviously, we'd like to have the one back. But we did a pretty good job staying aggressive and not giving them too much room."

...

"I thought we did a lot of good things today, especially the second period when we were all over them," Kronwall said.

"And that's the way we want to be playing the game: Just shoot the puck, get the puck back and grind their defense," he said, referring to the forecheck. I thought our forwards did an outstanding job."

But Zetterberg put things bluntly...

"[The Oilers] are a fun team to play against, a lot of speed and a lot of skill. The penalty kill did a good job, and that 5-on-3 was big for us," he said. "But it can all change back tomorrow. So many games in a close schedule — if you are not playing well, you are going to lose your playoffs spot. We did it today, and we need to do it again tomorrow."

And the Wings talked very bluntly about today's test with the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa:

"It's step-by-step," said Pavel Datsyuk, who had a goal and an assist against the Oilers. "We are working hard at practice, and you do what you can to improve. We get better, but little by little bit."

Asked if he felt, after playing Edmonton, that the team finally "clicked," coach Mike Babcock was dismissive.

"No. It feels like we're a work in progress and we've got to continue to get better," he said. "I thought we played a good game last game (Thursday, on the road, against the Blues), and we came back and followed it up. But we've got to follow it up tomorrow against a heavy team."

The Wings play the Kings Sunday, and the defending Stanley Cup champions won it by putting their big bodies heavily against everything that moved in the playoffs.

"It's going to be a test," Babcock said."I just think if we remain competitive and keep getting better, we have a chance to be a good hockey club. I think our back end is rounding into shape here, and so we're getting better."

...

"I think we played better than we have been," the Red Wings captain said. "You've just got to keep winning games. We did it today, and tomorrow we've got to do it again."

MLive's Ansar Khan offers some factoids and observations of note, Niklas Kronwall's 50th goal as a Wing excluded:

It was Datsyuk's fourth goal of the season, the 244th of his career. That moved him into 11th place on the franchise's all-time list, ahead of the recently retired Tomas Holmstrom. Datsyuk now has 729 points, moving past Ted Lindsay into sole possession of seventh place on the club's career list.

HIGHLIGHTS

--Detroit is 30-0-4 in its past 34 games when Datsyuk scores a goal. He added an assist.

--The Red Wings killed four penalties in the third period, including a five-on-three power play that lasted for 1:07. The Oilers got no shots during that sequence.

--A freshened up Jimmy Howard made 23 saves for the win.

And in some ways, the fact that I put 90 minutes into this and then had my computer eat it was not all terrible, as the Free Press's George Sipple's notebook from the game didn't publish until 1 AM on Sunday, and included this gem:

Overheard: "It was a tight game," said Zetterberg (two assists). "PK (penalty kill) overall did a good job tonight. (The Oilers) got one goal, but other than that, they had a lot of opportunities and we played better than we have before."

Multimedia:

Highlights: The Red Wings' website posted highlights narrated by Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond:

 

TSN and the CBC also posted highlight clips.

Post-Game: The CBC posted a quick profile of Khabibulin and Howard...

The Oilers' website posted clips of Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, Nikolai Khabibulin, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins speaking to the media, but the Nugent-Hopkins clip has no embed code, so head to the Oilers' video page to watch it;

Fox Sports Detroit posted a clip of Jimmy Howard and Niklas Kronwall discussing the game...

MLive's Ansar Khan posted a clip of Niklas Kronwall speaking to the media...

Via RedWingsFeed, Niklas Kronwall spoke to the NHL Network after the game...

And the Red Wings' website posted clips of Brian Lashoff...

Henrik Zetterberg...

And Wings coach Mike Babcock speaking to the media:

 

Photos: The Detroit Free Press posted a 29-image gallery;

The Detroit News posted a 12-image gallery;

The Windsor Star posted two photos (?) from the game;

The Edmonton Sun embedded an 8-image gallery in its website's recap;

CBS Detroit's images don't come from the game, but if you want a wallpaper-sized image of Damien Brunner celebrating against St. Louis, a picture of Drew Miller skating against the Blues or a nice picture of Jimmy Howard making a save, enjoy;

ESPN posted 35 images from the game;

Yahoo Sports posted 8 photos in its Wings gallery;

And NHL.com, the Oilers' website and the Red Wings' website posted 24-image galleries.

 

Statistics:

The Red Wings out-shot Edmonton 30-24. The Wings out-shot Edmonton 9-8 in the 1st, out-shot Edmonton 13-10 in the 2nd and out-shot Edmonton 8-6 in the 3rd.

The Oilers went 1-for-8 in 12:52 of PP time, including 0-for-2 in 1:12 of 5 on 3 time; the Wings went 2-for-7 in 6:44 of PP time. They went 0-for-1 in 28 seconds of 5 on 3 time.

Jimmy Howard stopped 23 of 24 shots; Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 28 of 30.

The 3 stars, per the Windsor Star's Mark Falkner, were Henrik Zetterberg (3), Nikolai Khabibulin (2) and Pavel Datsyuk (1).

The Wings' goals: Datsyuk (4) from Brunner (3) and Zetterberg (10), PPG;

Kronwall (1, 50th of his career) from Datsyuk (8) and Zetterberg (11), PPG.

Faceoffs 33-17 Detroit (Detroit won 66%);

Blocked shots 16-15 Edmonton;

Missed shots 16-15 Detroit (total attempts 61-49 Detroit);

Hits 24-14 Detroit;

Giveaways 7-6 Edmonton;

Takeaways 8-4 Detroit.

Individual stats, TMR style:

Faceoffs: Datsyuk went 13-and-5 (72%); Zetterberg went 11-and-6 (65%); Filppula went 4-and-1 (80%); Andersson went 3-and-1 (75%); Emmerton went 2-and-3 (40%); Franzen lost his only faceoff.

Shots: Brunner led the team with 5 shots; Datsyuk had 4; White and Andersson had 3; Abdelkader, Cleary and Kronwall had 2; Kindl, Miller, Tatar, Emmerton, Filppula and Franzen had 1.

Blocked attempts: Franzen and Kindl had 4 attempts blocked by Oilers players; Emmerton had 2 blocked; White, Tatar, Zetterberg, Filppula, Ericsson and Andersson had 1 attempt blocked.

Missed shots: Brunner missed the net 3 times; Cleary missed the net 2 times; Kindl, Datsyuk, White, Miller, Tatar, Zetterberg, Filppula, Kronwall, Andersson and Franzen missed the net 1 time.

Hits: Miller and Lashoff co-led the team with 4 hits; Cleary and Kronwall had 3; Tootoo and Andersson had 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, Tatar, Brunner and Franzen had 1.

Giveaways: Miller, Tatar, Tootoo, Lashoff, Brunner and Filppula had 1 giveaway.

Takeaways: Zetterberg had 3 takeaways; Datsyuk had 2; Miller, Lashoff and Filppula had 1 takeaway.

Blocked opponent shots: Kronwall blocked 3 Oilers shots, Lashoff and Quincey blocked 2; Kindl, Abdelkader, Datsyuk, White, Miller, Zetterberg, Filppula and Andersson blocked 1.

Penalties taken: Zetterberg took 2 minors; Kindl, Abdelkader, Cleary, Andersson and Franzen took single minors.

Plus-minus: Special teams goals = the Wings were even.

Points: Datsyuk had a goal and an assist for 2 points; Zetterberg had 2 assists; Kronwall had a goal; Brunner had an assist.

Ice time: Ericsson led the team with 24:00 played; Kronwall played 22:40; White played 21:32;

Datsyuk played 21:23; Zetterberg played 21:08; Lashoff played 19:55;

Cleary played 19:04; Filppula played 19:02; Franzen played 16:47;

Brunner played 14:47; Kindl played 14:41; Miller played 14:24;

Quincey played 13:04; Abdelkader played 11:11; Tatar played 10:39;

Andersson played 7:22; Emmerton played 6:55; Tootoo played 6:15.

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Comments

Slumpy's avatar

Jets should trade for Luongo but they have nobody good enough to offer in return, lol.

Kings trade for Keaton Ellerby lol. Two fights he was in this season he lost. Never scored more than two goals at any level of major junior through NHL career thus far.
Kings in last place with the BJs in Campbell Conference. From Champs to chumps quickly.

Expect a quick fight between Tootoo and KFC or Ellerby in 1st Sunday.

Considering the Wings desperate defenseman situation I think they should of called up Ouellet at start of season just to see imo. Kindl, Lashoff, Huskins and Carla Cola don’t inspire confidence.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 02/10/13 at 03:21 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

They can’t call Ouellet up. He’s playing in the QMJHL. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada own his rights until he makes the Wings on a permanent basis, and the Wings didn’t have a real training camp that could accommodate prospects, so there’s no way he could’ve been brought into the fold unless the team asked him to turn pro with the Griffins—and they’d much rather have Ouellet wearing the captain’s “C” in the QMJHL while piling up tons of points.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/10/13 at 03:42 AM ET

perfection's avatar

since the 2010-11 season the Red Wings are 37-1-5 when Datsyuk scores in a game.

this is kind of a shocking statistic. it goes to show, when he is ON, he takes over games. nobody on the planet can stand in that dudes way. He makes even dumb routine stuff works of art, example number one being that backcheck, steal, and clear on Taylor Hall on the penalty kill - and anyone who watched the game knows what I’m talking about, which goes to show how incredible it was. The guy is ridiculous. I haven’t been watching hockey as long as some, but at least since the late 80’s, I haven’t seen another player sheerly as entertaining to watch as Pav. I am so thankful Datsyuk came around in the time of DVR. Because they don’t show a fraction of his amazing plays on replay. I sometimes have to go back and rewatch the crap he tries that doesn’t work just to make sure my eyes didn’t deceive me and that he really tried what I think he tried.

Anyway, that stat set me on a rant. If Pav ever somehow ends up in another NHL jersey I will have an extremely hard time not cheering for whatever team that is just to watch him. Kenny BETTER not trade him ever. These stupid lockouts have robbed me of enough of his career. I really could care less about the future of the team if it means losing him. Watching Pav play night in and night out is a privilege that I don’t take for granted. It’s hockey at it’s finest in my opinion.

My fingers are double crossed we see a 5 year extension signed this year by him and this talk of playing more in Russia is nonsense. Not to mention, Pav could easily play in the KHL well into his 40’s. At the rate he’s aging, probably longer. To my eyes he still seems to be getting BETTER, not worse at 35. Any loss in speed will only be compensated by even better anticipation and hand eye coordination. Man I hope he stays for a lot longer.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 02/10/13 at 05:27 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.