Speaking of special teams, I think this was the least-consistently-reffed game of the season. There was quite a bit let go in the first period that became penalties later on and it feels that the score of the game had a very big impact on what was and was not a penalty. All-in-all, the Wings kept the Oilers to just one PPG on 8 opportunities.
Jimmy Howard made a number of huge saves in the second period which could have turned the game sour for Detroit. Overall, I think he made a positive impact in the Red Wings' victory and will get a +1 overall rating. Head-to-head, I think Howard was tested much less-severely than Nikolai Khabibulin on the other end, without whom the OIlers might have found themselves down by a lot. It sucks to do this to the game-winning goaltender, but Jimmy Howard will get a -1 in the head-to-head.
2nd Period 08;33 - Detroit Goal (PP): Pavel Datsyuk (wrist shot) from Damien Brunner and Henrik Zetterberg
The Red Wings score what is essentially a 5-on-3 goal as Edmonton's Whitney is not back in the play when Datsyuk receives a cross-crease pass and slides it under Khabibulin to open the scoring. Nik Kronwall will get a half-assist as he QBs the power play from up top effectively. Johan Franzen will also get a non-touch assist for his work on Ladislav Smid in front of the net which creates a lane for Brunner to hit Datsyuk.
2nd Period 17:55 - Edmonton Goal (PP): Justin Schultz (wrist shot) from Jordan Eberle and Teemu Hartikainen
After a lot of in-zone cycling, Edmonton gets it to Justin Schultz at the point, who fires it from the high slot through a screen and past Jimmy Howard. Blame here falls on two PKers: Cory Emmerton (minus), who makes a bad decision in chasing an already-covered Eberle to the top of the circle instead of covering the point-man better; and Niklas Kronwall (minus) who fails to establish body position to keep Hartikainen out of the screen.
3rd Period 06:08 - Detroit Goal (PP): Niklas Kronwall (slap shot) from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg
The Red Wings win the offensive zone faceoff and give the Oilers' PK fits with good puck-movement in the zone. Finally, Datsyuk gets a loose puck after a missed shot and dishes back to Kronwall for a slapper for the game-winner. Datsyuk is going to get a bonus assist on this play. He does the lion's share of the work QBing this one and creating coverage problem for the Oilers by pressuring the edges of the box. Zetterberg will get a half bonus-assist. As the puck comes out from behind the net, Zetterberg plays body position to specifically let it through to Datsyuk. Franzen will also get a screener's assist. Khabibulin is peeking around the opposite side where Kronwall scores thanks to Franzen's body in front.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 18:43 - Dan Cleary (goalie interference): Cleary pushes his man on top of the goalie. Minus for Cleary.
2nd Period 00:38 - Red Wings Bench (too many men): During a change, Kronwall comes on for Ericsson covering the far side of the ice. Ericsson recognizes that Edmonton is coming with speed and doesn't change. The Wings end up with too many men. Both men need to recognize that this isn't acceptable, but Ericsson is in position to defend where Kronwall is not. Kronner will get the minus. Essentially, Ericsson gets a break because what he does is take a "good penalty" to prevent what would have certainly turned into a scoring opportunity.
2nd Period 13:14 - Justin Abdelkader (holding): Cannot use a free hand to grab a guy's hips, especially not in the offensive zone. Minus for Abdelkader
2nd Period 14:14 - Taylor Hall (tripping): Danny Cleary does some great hustle work behind his own net to protect the puck and draw a trip. Cleary gets a plus.
2nd Period 16:34 - Henrik Zetterberg (hooking):Zetterberg is using his stick more than his feet while chasing Petry through center ice. It's not a strong call, but it's one that's easy to make on a guy who isn't moving. Zetterberg gets a minus.
3rd Period 01:51 - Joakim Andersson (hooking): This one is pretty similar to the Zetterberg call in that it's maybe a little soft, but understandable. I'm not happy that this gets called by the ref behind the Oilers' net, who seems to be reacting to what he thinks he sees. However, Andersson gets his stick parallel and pulls at the gloves. This is worth a half-minus for Andersson.
3rd Period 02:44 - Jakub Kindl (high-sticking): No excuses on this one. Kindl gets a minus for careless stickwork.
3rd Period 05:34 - Chris Vandevelde (hooking): As Jakub Kindl pushes a RNH chance to the corner, Abdelkader keeps fantastic body position on his man and basically forces a hook. Abdelkader will get a plus.
3rd Period 17:27 - Johan Franzen (closing hand on puck): Franzen gets tripped here on a brutal non-call and he'd get away with this one completely if he doesn't actually pick the puck off the ice as he gets back up. Franzen will get a half-minus.
3rd Period 19:34 - Magnus Paajarvi (hooking): Franzen gets a plus. He comes out of the box and picks up a loose puck, realizing he's got an empty net and body position, he turns up ice with body position and is smart not to ice it trying for the empty net. Paajarvi hooks him and goes to the box.
+2 to Pavel Datsyuk, +1 to Henrik Zetterberg: Both played well on the PK and defensively at even-strength. Pavel Datsyuk had a handful of just incredible shifts, including some early 2nd-period PKing that was jaw-dropping.
+1 to Justin Abdelkader: Abby had what might have earned him a goal-saved plus if I could verify that the shot he prevented would have actually gone in. I really liked his positioning in this game.
+0.5 to Joakim Andersson: He did more than enough good in this game to earn getting an adjustment back to even for the night.
+2 to Niklas Kronwall: Easily Kronner's best game. He was solid in the zone and did a good job of staying betewen his man and the goal and at cutting off rushes.
+1 to Jonathan Ericsson: Anecdotally, Riggy's performance can be defined by the third period rush where Taylor Hall came down the wing with speed and Ericsson shut him down. That's the most-memorable of the good decisions he made.
+1 to Ian White and Brian Lashoff: Big minutes for these two defensemen, who essentially disappeared in their coverage. That's a good thing. Not only were they not really noticeable, but neither were the forwards who skated in on them. This was a very good performance by these two.
Jakub Kindl had a great play to make up for a Kyle Quincey error, but he also had a turnover that led straight to a scoring chance which eliminated that. I think he played well. Heck, I think Quincey played well too. I was kind of surprised to see these two get the least ice time among Red Wings' D-men.