Red Wings-Oilers Preview
The Detroit Red Wings got some important contributions from their lesser-known players while rebounding from a difficult loss. The team's stars, though, have led the way during its recent dominance of the Edmonton Oilers.
In the opener of a four-game trip, the Red Wings will try to record their seventh consecutive win over the struggling Oilers on Monday night.
After giving up two goals in the final minutes in Nashville on Thursday, Detroit bounced back in a big way Saturday with an 8-2 rout of visiting Los Angeles. It was their highest goal total since a 9-1 victory at Columbus on Nov. 11, 2009.
Fourth-line center Cory Emmerton had two goals and an assist to lead the way in the win over the Kings, and third-line winger Drew Miller scored twice. Defenseman Niklas Kronwall added a goal and two assists.
"I think it's huge to get the contribution from everyone," Miller said. "There's going to be nights where our big guys aren't scoring all the time. You count on your third- and fourth-line guys to chip in and come up big for the team."
One of Detroit's leading scorers, Valtteri Filppula, didn't record a point in that win but has a team-best seven during the win streak over Edmonton with three goals and four assists. Filppula had one of those goals in a 3-0 win Nov. 11 after Miller and Kronwall scored in each of the first two periods.
Datsyuk has been one of the league's hottest players for much of the last month with eight goals and 14 assists during an 11-3-0 stretch for his club. Zetterberg has three goals and four assists over the last five contests to the Red Wings (20-10-1) outscore those opponents 27-10.
Detroit, though, has dropped three of four on the road but facing an Edmonton team that's 2-7-1 in its last 10 overall might help improve those fortunes. The Red Wings are also 5-0-3 in their last eight visits to Rexall Place.
The Oilers, meanwhile, are 2-3-1 in their past six home games and coming off a winless three-game trip in which they were outscored 10-4. They were competitive Saturday at San Jose but couldn't build on a second-period lead in a 3-2 defeat.
Edmonton (14-15-3) was outshot 28-16 over the final two periods of that loss and committed four penalties after taking the lead. Theo Peckham's interference infraction led to the tiebreaking power play in the third period.
"We played a very simple game, and we still allowed too many shots," forward Ryan Jones said. ''I don't know the stats but we must be one of the top five teams in the league in taking penalties. That's taxing."
The Oilers have given the Red Wings six power plays in each of the past two matchups but killed off all 12 chances. Detroit's special teams, though, enter this game having converted four of its last seven opportunities with a man advantage.
Edmonton is seeking to avoid matching a season high-tying four-game losing streak, which it also endured Nov. 10-17.