EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- 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
"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
Detroit scored three times in the third period. Ericsson's first
goal of the season tied it at 1-1 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
"It's going to be quite the nine-game stretch here down to the
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
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.