Friday, November 18, 2005

Wings 5, Oilers 6 (OT)

The Wings had a disappointing end to the West Coast trip, gaining only one point of the possible six and losing 6-5 (OT) to the Oilers Thursday night. Chris Osgood made the start for the Wings, and Jussi Markkanen made his 15th start in 16 games for the Oilers. The Wings have had trouble winning in Edmonton recently: their last win came December 13, 2001. The story of the night though was the Wings losing a 3-1 lead after two periods, allowing four unanswered goals by the Oilers in the first 12 minutes of the third. Although they rallied to tie it late in the third, it's inexcusable to give up such a lead on the road. Many of the goals were caused by the Wings' inability to clear their zone. The Wings come home on Saturday with a game against the St Louis Blues, who have to be sensing the Wings' vulnerability coming off a bad trip. First Period The Wings opened the game a bit slow, but it was pretty expected being the third game in four nights. At 1:32, Nicklas Lidstrom was called for holding, but a Marty Reasoner penalty a minute later ended the man advantage early for the Oilers. The Oilers controlled the pace for the next 6-7 minutes, and solid goaltending by Ozzie kept it scoreless. At 12:29, Franzen was caught with a high-sticking penalty, and Fischer then called for tripping at 13:57. With a second left on the 5-on-3 advantage, Hemsky beat Osgood off a one-timer feed from Chris Pronger. 1-0 Oilers. The Wings killed off the remainder of the power play, and evened it up a short time later with a unassisted goal by Samuelsson at 16:26. On the play, Mikael intercepted a lead pass from Pronger and beat Markkanen on a shot from the right circle to make it 1-1. His first goal in nine games. Shots in the period were 10-5 Oilers. Second Period The Wings opened the second period strong, and drew a Horcoff holding call at 1:47. On the power play, Datsyuk broke up through the middle and scored with 10 seconds left on a pretty wrist shot, top corner. 2-1 Wings. Just over a minute later, Franzen had a blast from the right circle that beat Markkanen. Assisted by Lang and Yzerman. 3-1 Wings. The rest of the period was pretty uneventful, other than Franzen hitting the crossbar at 19:48. The Wings were in control of the game after two and seemed poised to break their two game slump. Shots in the period were 9-6 Wings. Third Period The Wings had a good first two periods, moving their feet well for a third game in four nights on the West trip. They also managed the puck well, and had a good penalty killing effort. I wasn't really glued to the game in the first two periods, hence I didn't have many comments other than the goals in the first two period summaries. Luckily, the third period was the most exciting and the one I watched intently. The Wings are leading 3-1, and are 11-0-0 after two periods with the lead. The Oilers, on the other hand, are 0-7-1 after two when trailing. But get ready for a crazy ride in this third period. At 2:27, Georges Laraque was called for hooking. The Wings had good, sustained pressure on the power play. A highlight was a Pavel Datsyuk pass from the left circle to Henrik Zetterberg in front. After Zetterberg got some wood on the shot, Holmstrom went after the rebound and the Wings almost added to their 3-1 lead. At 5:30, Marc-Andre Bergeron scored to make it 3-2 Wings. On the play, Chris Chelios mishandled the puck and failed to clear the zone. Bergeron picked the puck up, driving between the circles and beating Ozzie on a snap shot. Before Chelios' gaffe, Ozzie had made two good saves, but the story was the Wings' inability to support their goaltender and clear the zone. As play continued, it was clear the Oilers were gaining momentum. The Wings still couldn't effectively clear their zone, and Ryan Smyth tied it up at 6:59. On the play, Robert Lang got caught up behind the net, and missed his assignment on Smyth, who picked up the loose puck behind Ozzie and made a pretty wrap-around goal. 3-3 tie. Right after the goal, Radek Dvorak was called for holding, giving the Wings a great chance to stop the Oiler's offensive surge. Datsyuk was strong again on the power play, making a great back-door pass to Lidstrom from the right side. Lidstrom had Markkanen beaten, but his shot hit the post on the great chance. Down the other way, Ethan Moreau scored a shorthanded goal at 11:48, to make it 4-3 Oilers. On the play, Horcoff made a drop pass to Moreau, who moved the puck to his backhand and walked in alone on Ozzie. Datsyuk made a desperate attempt to get after Moreau, but was beaten on the play. The Rexall Place fans started the mock "Osgood" chant, and one of the lows of the game occurred at 10:49 as the Oilers pulled a 4-on-1 break in on Ozzie. Luckily, they overskated the passes, and the Wings were spared even more embarrassment. With the Oilers off since Monday, and the Wings playing their third game on the road in four nights, it was clear the Wings had to do something or the Oilers were about to run it up on them. A Zetterberg holding call at 10:37 didn't help the cause, and sure enough Ryan Smyth took advantage of the power play, scoring his second of the game at 12:25 to make it 5-3 Oilers. On the play, he picked up a loose puck as he was stationed in front of the net, and shot it over Ozzie's shoulder. That's four unanswered goals in a 12 minute span. It now became a desperate fight to salvage the West trip and at least get a point out of it. The Wings had a chance on Markkanen around 6:45, but nothing came of the loose puck and scramble in front. At 14:48, Steve Staios was called for hooking, giving the Wings a huge power play opportunity. After a few shots wide, the Wings inched closer with a hard-fought goal by Shanahan. 5-4 Oilers. On the play, Lidstrom passed from the left side to Shanny near the crease, who powered it in. The Wings were effectively on a 5-on-3 man advantage, with Smyth without his stick for a majority of the time. That gave Shanny a team leading 11th goal of the season (5 on the powerplay). With three minutes left, the Wings crashed the Oilers zone and Yzerman scored on another hard-fought goal. After Draper threw the puck toward the net, Maltby and Yzerman went after the loose puck, with Yzerman giving it two swipes before scoring on the third. 5-5 tie. With overtime all but certain, Maltby was called for goaltender interference after breaking in on Markkanen and riding him into the net, knocking it off its moorings. That gave the Oilers a valuable 4-on-3 man advantage in the extra period. Shots in the period were 14-11 Wings, with six goals scored between the clubs. Overtime The Oilers scored quickly in the overtime, 33 seconds in, on a goal from Jarret Stoll. On the play, Stoll had a point shot, and a screening Ryan Smyth got in Ozzie's line of sight enough to lead to the goal. 6-5 Oilers. Final. Shots in the overtime were 1-0 Oilers. The Oilers scored 3 power play goals and 1 shorthanded tonight, on a disappointing end to a Western trip in which the Wings only gained one point. Final shots in the game were 28-28. Notes The Wings haven't won in Edmonton since December 13, 2001...The Wings have allowed *power play (NOT shorthanded) goals in 10 straight games...It was the first time the Wings have lost after leading after two periods...The Oilers scored 4 unanswered goals in a 12 minute span of the third, with six goals on 26 shots in third between both teams...


At 11/18/2005 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Wait, surely you mean 10 straight games giving up a power play goal, not short-handed...for a second there you scared me! I thought I'd been in some kind of serious denial!

At 11/18/2005 04:13:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

Thanks for the correction. I'd usually catch something like that, but I haven't been watching Wings games as much lately so it didn't seem as obviously wrong as it should've.

At 11/19/2005 11:42:00 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

Is it just me, or do the Wings seem to have trouble with two specific types of teams... the very fast, or the very physical. Which gives me a great deal of pause about Nashville, very fast and very physical.

At 11/19/2005 05:12:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

They did pretty well against the Sharks, who are very fast.

I think it's the combination that gets them: fast AND physical. The Flames are certainly that and though I missed the Canucks and Oilers games, I know they are more so than the Wings are.

That has always been their problem and at times they have been able to overcome that through skill and experience. Not sure if they have what it will take this time around though.

Time will tell.

The Preds will not be the pushover team they have been, for sure. We got a peek at that last season in a few of those games (even before the playoffs) and now they're ready to play.


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