Dominating performance by the Wings in this one, as the Oilers were never really in the game. The Wings put up the first five and the Oil's 2nd goal came too little too late. It's good to see Detroit crush teams they're supposed to be crushing.
The new line combinations played well together and this was certainly the most noticeable Jiri Hudler has been all season, playing alongside Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula. Franzen finally added his 100th career goal on the Wings' fifth of the night. Adding to the bonus territory, a woeful Wings power play went 1-for-1 on the night. Yeah... you read that right, one power play chance in a blowout game. To be fair to the Oilers, they didn't really goon it up, but rather seemed to just accept their fate as the game wore on.
Let's get to the ratings.
Jimmy Howard wasn't tested much in the surprising 25 shots against by the Oilers. I counted three big stops to zero bad goals for a rating of +3. It's too bad really, because I really would have liked to have seen this game end in a shutout.
Scoring and plus/minus analysis after the jump.The Goals
1st Period 7:29 - Detroit Goal: Valtteri Filppula (wrist shot) from Jiri Hudler and Nicklas Lidstrom
The Wings maintain good pressure in the Edmonton zone, drawing defenders into a position to chase. Franzen at one point beats two defenders to get it to Lidstrom, who tries angling a pass to Hudler off the back boards. After a rushed clearing attempt is kept in by the Red Wings' captain, he feeds back to Hudler behind the net. Hudler patiently waits for an Edmonton defender to challenge him with Franzen on one side acting as a decoy. Hudler finds Filppula streaking in and gets a pass to him out front that he bats out of mid air past Khabibulin. Franzen will get a half-assist for his cycling work and also for acting like a decoy to give Hudler time to find Filppula.
1st Period 13:29 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Holmstrom (backhand) from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg
Holmstrom starts this play in the neutral zone with a good bit of backchecking which relieves the Oilers of the puck. The Wings move into the zone as a unit and set up the cycle low. They eventually move the puck high with Stuart and Zetterberg switching spots. Zetterberg finds Datsyuk skating through the slot for a shot redirect off Datsyuk's stick. Holmstrom gets his stick on the first attempt and, when Khabibulin stops that one, finds the rebound to put it home on the backhand. Some great work on this line all around. Holmstrom will get a half-plus for his neutral zone backchecking which started this play off.
1st Period 17:39 - Detroit Goal: Dan Cleary (snap shot) from Todd Bertuzzi and Mike Modano
Ericsson and Modano work deep in the Detroit end to get the puck away from two Edmonton forecheckers. The puck comes cleanly to Modano's stick, who gets it to Clearly on the half-boards before hustling up ice. Cleary passes to Bertuzzi moving up through the zone to carry into the Edmonton zone with speed. Cleary's hustle keeps him in front of the man covering him and Bertuzzi finds him at the top of the faceoff circle for a quick-release snap shot over Khabibulin's left pad. Jonathan Ericsson will get a half-assist here for getting the puck to Modano against two forecheckers. Also, Modano will get a half-plus for his hustle. He started the play behind Detroit's net and was even with Bertuzzi when they entered the Edmonton zone. Modano's path to the net drew a defender and gave the Wings the space they needed for that play to develop.
2nd Period 2:18 - Detroit Goal: Dan Cleary (wrist shot) from Todd Bertuzzi
Edmonton threatens to leave the zone with numbers after a Mike Modano pass to Bertuzzi ends up on the wrong stick, but Bert regroups and breaks up the outlet pass, almost springing himself for a mini breakaway. Instead, the puck goes to the corner. Bert takes a quick look and realizes Cleary is moving into a hole in Edmonton's defense. Bert switches hands on his stick so he can get a pass off to the Newfie in front. Cleary receives the puck and spins around to deposit it far side around Khabibulin for his second goal of the game. Bertuzzi will earn a full extra plus for his hard work and creativity in making this play happen.
2nd Period 17:03- Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula
The only power play of the game the Wings got was on an errant high stick. Darren Helm had the (mis)fortune of having his face in the wrong place at the wrong time, so he will not get any credit here. As the second unit starts buzzing late in the power play, Hudler gets the puck down low next to the goal. He feeds Filppula out front for a shot on net that rebounds off Khabibulin to Kronwall's feet. In the time it takes Kronner to collect the puck and shoot, Khabibulin has moved over to block the net. This time, the rebound lays out front as Filppula and Franzen both fight against the penalty killers trying to clear. Franzen gets his stick on the puck and slaps it past Khabibulin for Detroit's fifth goal. This was originally credited to Filppula, but corrected in the third period. Hudler earns an assist for getting this play started.
3rd Period 0:58 - Edmonton Goal (PP): Dustin Penner (wrist shot) from Ales Hemsky and Kurtis Foster
Detroit is shorthanded here because Brad Stuart gets lazy with his stick late in the second and gets it up on an Oiler player. He will receive a minus for taking this penalty. With fresh ice to work on during the third period, Kurtis Foster finds Ales Hemsky on the side of the umbrella setup. Hemsky waits for an opportunity, which presents itself when Kronwall loses his man and lets Dustin Penner get between him and Howard. Hemsky shoots a low puck off Howard's pads where Penner collects it and puts it home. Aside from Brad Stuart's minus, Kronwall will get a half-minus. He was covering the man in the slot, who was not open and fogot about Penner completely.
3rd Period 16:40 - Detroit Goal: Tomas Holmstrom (backhand) from Henrik Zetterberg and Ruslan Salei
Salei pinches low on a forecheck in the Edmonton zone and helps get the puck to Zetterberg, who takes a semi-screened shot on net from the half-wall. Khabibulin pushes this rebound directly in front of the net, which is exactly where Holmstrom was going when Zetterberg released the shot. Homer collects the garbage and puts it where it belongs. No scoring changes here.
3rd Period 18:45 - Edmonton Goal: Theo Peckham (wrist shot) from Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle
The Wings are up on the Oilers 6-1 when this goal goes in. The second line with Salei and Kronwall on the ice chase around a bit and are obviously looking forward to the end of the game. Gagner takes a shot on Howard, who leaves the puck in front of the net for a wide open Peckham to collect and put home. There were defensive miscues to be sure here, but this is a perfect example of a goal that does not matter. Out of context, this was horrible defensive play; since it was the dying minutes of a blowout, I don't care about it. Maybe if a shutout were still on the table here, I'd care. Nobody on the ice gets a minus. Salei, Kronwall, Hudler, Franzen, and Filppula are absolved of their minuses. [Edit: not a popular change. the five on the ice will keep their minuses.]
+1.5 to Nicklas Lidstrom: Way back in the first period when the game wasn't in hand, Lidstrom made two fantastic net-front plays that probably saved goals. Aside from that, he was awesome the entire night.
+1 to Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler: Way more than a pity point for these two, I thought they were, for stretches, the best two forwards on the ice. They had chemistry and jump.
+0.5 to Drew Miller: On the Edmonton power play early in the third where they eventually scored, Miller saved a goal with good stickwork. Aside from that, I thought he was very good in his penalty-killing role.
+1 to Dan Cleary: The far-and-away winner for player of the game, Cleary did his job well everywhere on the ice and, while he got rewarded on the scoresheet for his offensive contributions, I think a bonus plus is in order here.
Up next: The Avalanche come to town on Saturday.