Late Filppula goal helps Red Wings past Oilers

BY foxsports • March 25, 2009

The Detroit Red Wings even impressed their coach during an important victory Tuesday night.

Marian Hossa and Valtteri Filppula scored 32 seconds apart late in the third period and the Red Wings beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 to move back into first place overall in the NHL.

Jonathan Ericsson also scored for the Red Wings (49-16-9), who won for the fifth time in six games and moved a point ahead of idle San Jose for top spot in the Western Conference.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock was pleased with the way his team came back from a difficult first period, playing their second night in a row following a 5-3 loss in Calgary on Monday.

"When you play back-to-back your legs aren't the same as they normally are," he said. "It takes you a while to get them back. You've got to fight through that, and not bury yourself early in the game while your legs do come back and I think that's what happened.

"They outshot us in the first, I think they had 13 shots on net and I don't know how much they finished with but not a lot, so we took over from that point."

Denis Grebeshkov and Ales Kotalik scored for the Oilers (35-29-9), who lost their second in a row but remained in seventh in the tight Western race, one point ahead of Nashville and Anaheim.

Detroit scored three times in the third period. Ericsson's first goal of the season tied it at 1 with 8:45 left and Hossa scored with 1:58 remaining. Filppula's tally made it 3-1.

"I'd say that feels worse than losing 10-2," Oilers forward Dustin Penner said. "Especially at this point of the season with the way we have been playing and who we were playing tonight. That one stings."

Kotalik scored with 1 minute to play, but the Red Wings were able to hang on.

"A game like that leaves everybody with a heavy heart," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "It's an incredible sense of disappointment. But at the same time we played pretty well and in a lot of ways outstanding. The way we checked and killed penalties. It's disappointing but we'll take some solace in that.

"It's going to be quite the nine-game stretch here down to the end."

Edmonton opened the scoring on a power play with 1:11 to go in the first, shortly after a two-man advantage had expired. Ales Hemsky sent a pass back to Grebeshkov at the point, and his knuckler got past Ty Conklin.

Detroit controlled the bulk of the play in the second, outshooting Edmonton 17-4, but Dwayne Roloson kept the Oilers in front. His biggest save was a point blank grab on Johan Franzen with 5 minutes to play and the Red Wings on a power play.

Roloson finished with 41 stops.

Detroit had another big opportunity to draw even midway through the third when Filppula had a wide open net, but the Oilers were able to get a stick in the way and deflect the puck.


It was the fourth and final meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Red Wings owned the first three games, outscoring Edmonton by a combined total of 16-6. ... Detroit's Andreas Lilja's recovery from a concussion suffered in late February is going slowly and he has yet to start riding a bike to work on his conditioning. However the Red Wings did get a player back from the injured list as forward Tomas Holmstrom returned from a knee injury.

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