The Edmonton Oilers dropped a 4-2 decision to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night. The loss marks the second of the season for the Oilers and the first ever for Stuart Skinner. Jesse Puljujarvi and Connor McDavid got the markers for the Oilers.
Like the Rangers game...this one was kind of a stinker until it wasn’t. I got all the details right here for your reading pleasure.
Stuart Skinner didn’t get an easy start to his second career NHL start. On just the second shift of the game, the Red Wings collapsed onto his crease and forced him to locate a puck among a swarm of bodies. Luckily, he was able to and no harm was done.
The Wings had the early pressure, opening up a 3-0 lead on the shot clock. Edmonton looked a little sloppy to begin things. It would take the Oilers nearly five minutes to register their first shot on goal, which came off Duncan Keith’s stick.
Edmonton’s first real chance of the game came off a beautiful pass from Connor McDavid to Jesse Puljujarvi in front of the net, but Alex Nedeljovic came across to rob the big Finn.
Skinner was huge for the team in this period. The shot clock read 10-3 for the Wings at the 10-minute mark and there were a few legitimate chances sprinkled in there. An encouraging start for who could be a very important Oiler in the near future.
He wouldn’t get out of the period perfectly. After a pinch by Slater Koekkoek goes wrong, Vladislav Namestikov drove the net on a 1-on-1 rush to beat both Tyson Barrie and Skinner. The Red Wings were the better team thus far and the scoreboard reflected it with a 1-0 lead.
That would be all the action that we’d get as the Oilers looked to get square in the second period. Red Wings led Edmonton 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The middle frame saw the Oilers shuffle up their top six. Kassian left the game with an injury so he was no longer an option. To cope, the Oilers broke up McDavid and Draisaitl. The top-line saw Zach Hyman reunited with McDavid and Puljujarvi while Draisaitl anchored the fabled DRY line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto.
The change didn’t pay off right away. The Wings came out with all cylinders firing and had all the pressure. That eventually culminated in Cody Ceci throwing the puck out of play to give the Wings the game’s power-play of the game. It would be a stressful kill but the Oilers would get out of it unscathed.
Namestikov would strike shortly after the kill as he deposited a rebound off a point-shot rebound. The Red Wings weren’t relenting and it was 2-0 Detroit.
Edmonton would finally get something going in their favour. Filip Hronek took an interference call on McDavid and gave the Oilers their first chance on the PP. Detroit was operating a bottom-five penalty-killing unit heading into the night but it wouldn’t look like it here as they held Edmonton off the scoresheet to keep the game in their control.
Things would go from bad to worse as Skinner would misplay the puck on the boards right to Dylan Larkin for a tap-in. Red Wings open up a 3-0 lead late in the second.
Puljujarvi would give the Oilers a spark of life in the final minute of the game after forcing a breakaway chance in which he would wire one over the glove of Nedeljovic. 3-1 Red Wings heading into the third period.
The final frame started as perfectly as you could possibly want it to for the Oilers. Less than a minute into the period, Connor McDavid went on a solo rush and sent a wicked wrister into the net. All of a sudden it was a 3-2 game with plenty of hockey to play.
Hyman would ring one of the post and the Oilers would apply some late pressure with the net empty, but it wouldn’t be enough to tie this one up. Moritz Seider would seal it off with an empty-netter to give the Red Wings the 4-2 win.
- Despite the loss and the giveaway, I thought Stuart Skinner played very well for his second career NHL start. Everyone else in front of him should be paying for Skinner’s dinner because they really let him down.
- The Oilers, for the second straight game, played like absolute trash for the majority of this one. They couldn’t complete passes and the Wings had them running circles around them in the defensive end. Team defense is far and away this team’s number one problem and they will have to figure it out fast if they hope to really compete for the Stanley Cup. If the Rangers and Red Wings can cause this much panic in your own end...think about what the heavy hitters in the league could do.
- I am glad to see that McDrai was broken up and I honestly think the team played better because of it. McDavid and Draisaitl are a fantastic nuclear option but, in the long run, it also makes the Oilers an easier team to play against as a whole.
- Kassian left the game with an undisclosed lower-body injury. He didn’t do much in his top-six audition to really make me notice his absence. If he misses time we could see a call-up soon...perhaps Cooper Marody or Seth Griffith could be the guy.
- It was a really disappointing game for Ryan McLeod by my eye. Didn’t notice him all that much. I still have plenty of belief in the guy and I hope we see more of him.
- Obligatory ‘I told you all Puljujarvi was the perfect linemate for McDavid’. The kid is on fire and I can at least take solace in his breakaway beauty.
- The Oilers drop just their second game in 11 tries and that is honestly ok. You can’t win them all. Their record drops to 9-2-0 on the season and they will search for win #10 as they take on the Boston Bruins this Thursday.