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Oilers 4, Red Wings 3: Late comeback falls short

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Detroit Red Wings v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Tonight, the Red Wings descend on Edmonton for a late night game, at least for those on the east coast. So far, I feel pretty awake, but I have a feeling this will be me by the end of the third:

I always like watching McDavid play, but usually when he’s not doing ridiculous things against us.

First Period

Well, this game is going to be fun.

Connor McDavid blows by Ouellet down the left side. Sproul can’t get in front of him, and McDavid tucks it past Mrazek and inside the far post to make it 1-0 Edmonton less than two minutes into the game.

The bad omens continue as Jeff Blashill gets hit by a puck above his left eye. He looks to be ok, but he has a pretty bad cut.

Kronwall gives the puck away, and surprisingly can’t catch the Oiler player. Luckily, he runs out of room before being able to find a teammate.

The Wings finally get a good chance, but Abdelkader to Green to Helm failed to lead to a goal. Six minutes in, and Detroit could easily be down by 3 goals.

Zetterberg-Nyquist-Mantha are looking good together so far tonight. They just had one of the only shifts so far that the Wings had sustained offensive pressure.

Lately, people have been worried that Detroit might win too many points the rest of the way and not gain the high draft pick fans are hoping for. After watching the first 14 minutes of tonight’s game, that won’t be a problem.

GOAL!

I was just about to fall asleep, when Anthony Mantha scored his 14th of the year. Zetterberg was first to a Detroit dump in, and he found Mantha heading to the net, who ripped it past Talbot. 1-1.

After the goal, the Wings have more jump. Anthony Mantha in particular is trying to take the game over, and coming close to doing so.

Ryan Sproul was hit by Matt Hendricks, causing the Wings defenseman to go head over skates into the bench.

Zack Kassian makes it 2-1 with 20 seconds left in the period as Larsson’s point shot deflected off Kassian, then past Mrazek.

The Red Wings had about a five minute stretch where they didn’t look terrible, but overall a pretty bad first period. The end of it has me feeling like this:

Second Period

Well, the hits keep coming. Ryan Sproul caught an edge coming back towards his net and fell awkwardly into the boards. He needed help off the ice and looked to not be able to put much weight on one of his legs.

Prior to that, the Zetterberg line had another strong shift. They’ve been far and away the best Red Wings line tonight.

McDavid very nearly made it 3-1, but his shot from the slot went just over the net.

Helm and Larkin both think the other player is going to take the puck, and it goes the other way. Lucic gets a good shot off, but Mrazek keeps it out.

The Athanasiou-Nielsen-Tatar line had a strong shift, with Nielsen setting up Tatar for what looked like a sure goal, but Talbot kept Tatar’s shot out.

The first penalty of the game goes to Nielsen for holding. Hard to argue.

Darren Helm had a shorthanded chance, but couldn’t beat Talbot. Mrazek made three good saves to keep the score 2-1, and the penalty expires. Edmonton’s PP looked really dangerous, so let’s not give them another man advantage, ok?

The period ends, and it was a little better than the first, but not much. The difference in score is only one goal, but it feels like it’s way more than that.

Hopefully the Wings can come out in the third with an attitude like this:

Third Period

I have no idea how Detroit didn’t tie the game up. Ouellet set up Zetterberg, but he couldn’t get a stick on it, so he tried to direct it in with his skate. That went wide, and Athanasiou couldn’t pot a feed shortly after. It looked like Klefbom got enough on the AA shot to force it wide.

At the other end, Mrazek made a top-notch save. The puck bounced around the slot before Zetterberg carried it around the back of the net and exited the zone.

Six minutes in, Eberle and Lucic work a give and go, and Eberle has way too much time to pick his spot. He puts it by Mrazek, and it’s 3-1 Oilers.

You know when you spend a lot of time doing something, and you then realize someone else did it better than you? That’s how I felt after seeing this tweet by Sara:

Wait, what?

GOAL!

Darren Helm sneaks behind the Oilers defense and Larkin finds him for a breakaway. Helm wrists it through the five-hole to cut the lead to 3-2.

Comeback?

Not so fast. Not much longer after Helm’s goal, Maroon makes it 4-2. Draisaitl and McDavid worked a give and go that just missed. Draisaitl then put the puck on Maroon’s stick from behind the net for an easy goal.

With about 4 minutes left, Athanasiou takes a high-sticking penalty. Detroit kills it with not too much difficulty.

Mrazek goes to the bench for an extra skater with 90 seconds left, and the only question is which Oiler is going to get the empty net goal.

Just kidding! With Abdelkader crashing the net, Larkin put the puck in from a sharp angle to the side of the goal, cutting the Oilers lead to 4-3.

Kronwall misses the long outlet pass, and it goes for an icing, and the faceoff comes back into the Detroit end with 12 seconds left.

The Wings ice the puck again, and run out of time to tie the game.

4-3 is your final. Detroit was outplayed for a good chunk of the game, but the top line and the other young players had some bright spots.

Are we another game closer to a lottery pick?