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Oilers Continue Losing Streak against Red Wings

After a streak of losses on the road so far, the Edmonton Oilers really needed to pull out a win in last night’s match at Joe Louis Arena against the Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, wishing cannot make it so, and the game ended with a 3-0 shutout victory for Detroit.

While the Oilers were somewhat lethargic in the first period, it wasn’t a horrible start. The Red Wings failed to convert a power play and the Oilers had 6 shots on goal, closely trailing the Red Wings’ eight shots. At the end of the period, the game remained scoreless at 0-0.

In the second half the Oilers still couldn’t seem to create any momentum. The first burst of any type of energy arose in the fight between Jordin Tootoo and Mike Brown about two minutes in. Less than a minute afterwards, Jakub Kindl scored the first goal for the Red Wings. The Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk took an undue amount of heat in the second period; he made some good saves and was on par with Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard throughout, but was bombarded with shots by Justin Abdelkader, Brendan Smith and Kyle Quincey in a rapid succession. Predictably, Cory Emmerton eventually scored – with such pressure placed on Dubnyk, another goal was inevitable.

The Oilers seemed to be too busy chasing the puck and failing to play positionally, and consequently were vastly outshot by the Red Wings in the second period 15 to seven. With more than double the shots on goal, the Red Wings were leading 2-0, and deservedly so. The cap on the disappointing second period was the injury of Ales Hemsky, though in a post-game interview with OilersTV at edmontonoilers.com, Oilers coach Ralph Krueger stated that Hemsky’s foot had been x-rayed and was not broken. His status is questionable for tomorrow’s game against Nashville, but it’s likely that he’ll be on the ice again soon.

Edmonton has a propensity for third-period comebacks, but with no shots on goal in the first five minutes of the third period, there didn’t seem to be much of a possibility for turning it around. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a good shift towards the middle of the third period with several chances, yet the Oilers still failed to put forth the needed energy to gain any game-changing momentum. Edmonton had more shots on goal than the previous two periods, however none yielded result. Detroit owned puck possession tonight. Instead of the Oilers turning it around, the Red Wings’ Abdelkader scored in the last 90 seconds, bringing the final score to 3-0.

Oilers Continue Losing Streak against Red Wings
Devan Dubnyk #40, of the Edmonton Oilers, watches Detroit Red Wings’ Jakub Kindl #4 score with the Red Wings’ first of three goals at Joe Louis Arena.
(Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Last night’s game play shows that the Oilers’ streak of losses seems to be affecting them. Just as the Columbus Blue Jackets  outshot them last game, the Red Wings outshot them 28-22.  They pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk at the end of the third period and played with an empty net, just as in their March 3 game against the Minnesota Wild. Perhaps Hall and Eberle are still nursing their respective hamstring and hand injuries from previous games; perhaps it was the mental strain from their streak of losses. Either way, tonight’s loss continues the Oilers’ disappointing streak.

“We were pleased with the first period,” Oilers Coach Krueger told edmontonoilers.com, but in the second period “the game plan just disappeared. For ten minutes they dominated us in every category. We lost our defensive coverage, we lost battles.”

Now standing at 8-10-5, the Oilers will face the Nashville Predators tomorrow night in their sixth road game.

Adrianna Szenthe

Adrianna Szenthe

Adrianna is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Having previously worn blue and orange in a city of die-hard Canadiens supporters, she feels confident she can contend with a city of Blackhawks fans. While she defends her beloved Oilers, she is fond of reminding everyone that hockey was, after all, invented in Canada. Since she's not able to make a killer slapshot, writing about them seems the next best thing.
Adrianna Szenthe

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