Slump Breakers!!! Wings 2, Oilers 1 OT

Well, who would have predicted that for the H2H2 game?  Unfortunately, there were no aisleway pushups, but the real winners here were the kids at Children's Hospital of Michigan.

The first period started off solid.  The Wings kept up plenty of pressure despite getting outshot 6-8 and seemed like they were ready to turn the corner.  Ryan Jones had other ideas.  With what can only be described as a mediocre wrist shot that was heading wide of the net, he managed to put Edmonton on the board first.  Not quite how you want to see your team break out of a slump.  That should have been all the excitement in the first period, but late in the period Jimmy Howard slipped behind the net, and the Oilers got a free shot at an open net.  Well, it was open until Niklas Kronwall decided to step in the way and make one hell of a save.

Red Wings nation let out a collective sigh of relief.

Follow me after the jump for the second and third, news and notes and PotG voting.

The second period was pretty much uneventful.  Several gigantic saves from Howard (including a great poke check on Jordan Eberle) to keep the game within one, but despite the ice being tilted towards the Oilers net, the Wings could not get around Devan Dubnyk.  And when we did get around him, Toronto overturned it because Bertuzzi had deflected it in with his hand.  I'll get into this later.  Despite outshooting the Oilers 17-10, we were still no closer to breaking the slump.  The good news: we weren't any further away.

Enter the third.  More bit saves from Jimmy, but no goals on 7 shots during a minute and a half 5 on 3 had this game looking very much like Wednesday night.  Thwarted by a hot goalie once again.  Then, Nicklas Lidstrom decided to fix this problem.  With the Jimmy on the bench and a delayed penalty coming to the Oilers (though they probably could have played it without the whistle going) Nick let a shot fly from the point.  Thanks to a great screen from Tomas Holmstrom, and an excellent deflection by Andrew Cogliano's right foot, the Wings had tied it up with 25 seconds to play.  Thanks to Nick, we get....

BONUS HOCKEY

The Wings carried OT.  We created traffic in front.  And after what can only be described as a sub par game, Pavel Datsyuk found the puck on his stick in the slot, and the defenseman sliding out of the way blocking a shot that never came.  He pulled across and then sent a shot back the other way.  Dubnyk didn't even know it was on its way until it was already behind him.  Game Over, Wings Win.

Notes:

I - What in the world was wrong with Paul Devorski's whistle?  Late in the first Cogliano snapped Stuart's stick with a slash, picked the puck up, skated with it and all with Devo's hand in the air.  The Wings came down with the puck and Datsyuk even handed the puck to one of the Oilers and still no whistle.  

II - Pavel was off tonight.  I know he got 2nd star at the arena, but he made some characteristically un-Datyukian moves. 

III - Anze Kopitar scored a hat-trick for the Kings tonight.  Everyone in LA gets free Soy Fries from Big Kahuna Burger.

IV - Jeff Lerg could fit under the crossbar while standing on his skates.  Dubnyk can't even do that while on his knees.  This guy is just huge.

V - Rule 78.5 part i - When the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick.  Talk about vague.  Now that I've seen the text in the rule book, I'm not so sure I agree with Murph's (or the league's) interpretation.  I wonder if Holland will push for clarification over the offseason.

VI - This is possibly the best game I've seen them play all season.  They were responsible defensively and creative offensively.  This team, though it took them to OT to do it, is unbeatable when they play like this.

VII - Eric Zane.....I SEE YOU!!!!

VIII - Jimmy was EPIC tonight.  I counted at least 4 big saves, and 2 or 3 other really good saves that kept this game close.

IX - I hope everyone from WiiM and TPL had a good time this afternoon and tonight.  I look forward to making it next year.

X - Up Next: St. Louis on Saturday night.  The only team that would claim they have more injury problems than the Oilers.

 

PotG

Well, up until the last 30 seconds of regulation and Overtime, I was pretty set on just declaring Jimmy the player of the game.  But, I'll go ahead and put it up to a vote.

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