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Red Wings @ Oilers Game 41 Preview

Half way home on the season, the Wings come to test Edmonton's one game winning streak.

A win!  Wait, what?
A win! Wait, what?
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports



20-10-9, 49 points, 1.256 p/g Ranks 9-22-9, 27 points, .642 p/g
Eastern Conference - 5th Western Conference -14th
11th P/G 30th
10th ST 25th
10th ES 29th
6th Goal 29th
7:30 PM MDT - SNW
Rexall Place
The opposing view:Winging It In Motown

Half Way Home

Rob Klinkhammer's debut in an Edmonton Oilers sweater was a good time for all, as they made easy work of an Islanders team that couldn't get their game off the ground.  The Oilers never trailed in a game that saw them emerge victorious by a score of 5-2.  Derek Roy scored his first goal in an Oiler sweater, while newcomer Matt Fraser scored his second in four games.  Ben Scrivens turned away 31 of 33 Islander shots for his seventh victory on the season, while Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak dropped just his seventh loss on the year.

Oilers look to make it a streak tonight with a victory against Detroit.  Let's dive right in.

The Oilers are saying

"Anytime you come in and get a win like that and chip in on the point sheet, that's about all you can ask for.  It's nice.  The Islanders are a great team so I thought we responded really well tonight."

That's Oilers forward Rob Klinkhammer, who picked up his first point as a member of the Oilers last game with an assist to Matt Hendridck's fist period marker.  It's always nice to make a good first impression.

Klinkhammer's first point resulted when he skated in on an unsuspecting Jaroslav Halak, who was playing the puck behind his net.  Klinkhammer put the puck in front of the net to a streaking Matt Hendricks who was able to bury it for Edmonton's first goal of the night.  Matt Hendricks would later add another goal when the Islanders' net was empty.

The Opponent is saying

"I don't think that there's any panic in here...I think we know what we can do.  We know we are a good team when we do the right stuff, we've just gotta do it"
That's Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg on how the Wings are a great team when they're all on the same page.

The Wings are currently fifth in the East with 49 points, but there's only four points separating them from eighth place Toronto. Fortunately for Detroit, they face off against the Oilers (who haven't won consecutive games in two calendar months), followed by stops in Calgary tomorrow night.  A tough test as they face off against the Capitals on Saturday, they'll then see the Sabres on Tuesday.  It's got to feel good playing in the Eastern Conference.  I know it works for the Oilers, who now see the Wings just twice instead of five times per year.
    Have some of this
  • GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME? The Oilers may not have consecutive victories in two calendar months, but they do have six points (2-0-2) in their last four games.  Are they getting any better?  The short answer is, well, maybe a little bit.  That's not saying a whole lot, but when you're primed to win a total of 20 or so games on the year, you take what you can get. The Oilers won their ninth game on the season on Sunday when they took the Islanders to task, a game that saw the Islanders finish with 33 shots (compared to Edmonton's 23) but the game was fairly even in Corsi events (52/49).  They didn't get blown out of the water against Colorado (41/34) either.  Now that you mention it, the last game they got killed in was the Kings game a week ago, but they were able to eek that victory out in the shootout.  Damn the draft, I want to see some more wins.
  • Ben Scrivens is certainly getting a butcher's with Todd Nelson.  Scrivens performed well in Sunday's 5-2 victory.  Nelson has leaned on Scrivens during his short time as head coach, as Viktor Fasth has started just one game since Nelson took the reigns from Dallas Eakins.  Jimmy Howard (.921 SV%, 15-7-7/ 2.08 GAA) will get the start tonight for the Wings.
  • Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell had a moment last game.  Fortunately for Derek Roy, he ended up scoring a goal later in the game en route to an Oilers victory.  Heaven help him if the Islanders emerged victorious.
  • DOWN THE MIDDLE - Forty games ago, the Oiler centres were Nugent-Hopkins, Draisaitl, Arcobello and Gordon.  Today, they're Nugent-Hopkins, Roy, Gordon and Lander.  It looks a little better on paper, but I wish it didn't cost Arcobello to get Roy.  It didn't have to, at least.