On a night when the Detroit Red Wings should have found the road out of town easy, they were instead blindsided by the worst team in the Western Conference.
The Edmonton Oilers came into Joe Louis Arena having lost to Vancouver Saturday night 7-3. They walked out with a 4-1 whupping of the Red Wings on the strength of a pair of goals by Patrick O'Sullivan.
Jimmy Howard looked absolutely mortal tonight, but he wasn't helped on two different goals that went in off his teammates. Meanwhile, the Red Wings sputtered immediately out of the gate, looking lethargic throughout the game.
Jeff Deslauriers was outstanding for the Oilers, stopping 25 shots. Jakub Kindle, making his debut for the Red Wings, finished the game with one shot and a -2 rating.
Lubomir Visnovsky opened the scoring, taking a shot from about 40 feet away that went off Brett Lebda. Then Lebda knocked the puck in past Howard to make it 1-0. It was Vinovsky's first goal in seven games, and sixth of the season.
Later in the first period, Ryan Stone passed to Robert Nilsson. Nilsson froze Jonathan Ericsson, who played the puck instead of the man. After spinning past him, he pump fakes out Howard and put the puck in for his second of the season.
With six seconds left in the first period, Nicklas Lidstrom put a 140-foot pass right on the stick of Todd Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi quickly fired the puck back to a charging Dan Cleary, who put the puck into the net for his sixth of the season with only 0.9 seconds left in the period.
In the second period, O'Sullivan was trying to put the puck across the ice when it deflected off Pavel Datsuyk's stick towards the net. Howard was ill-prepared for it, and it slid in through his pads to give the Oilers a two-goal lead.
Less than three minutes later, O'Sullivan struck again after a Detroit turnover in their own end. Sheldon Souray took advantage and got it back to O'Sullivan, who made Howard commit so badly that he was able to skate two more steps to Howard's right. Brad Stuart was unable to stop his shot, and it became 4-1 Oilers.
Player of the game: Dan Cleary. When you lose and only score one goal, you gotta give it to the goal scorer.