Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit overcame the Edmonton Oilers’ in dramatic fashion as Tomas Tatar scored the winning shoot-out goal and Jimmy Howard made the save on Taylor Hall to save the Redwings’ from embarrassment.
In the 3rd period, Brendan Smith made an error in judgement in his own end and made a pass right in front of Howard to veteran Ryan Smyth, who beat Howard. An embarrassed Smith was smiling and gratefully thanking his heroes in Tatar and Howard for saving his skin, in what could’ve been a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.
Detroit, who are right in the hunt for the final wildcard spot in the East, came into the game on the back of 2 losses to Columbus and the New York Rangers. Edmonton on the other end of the equation are still trying to find their niche with the young players and the veterans coming together. Coming off a loss to red-hot St.Louis the night previous took some of the gas out of the tank.
This did not show in the 1st period however, Edmonton heaping the pressure on Howard and making the Olympic goaltender come up big. Detroit shifted momentum in their favour. It was the make shift “Kid Line” of Sheahan, Tatar and tonight Miller that caused Edmonton problems down low. Sheahan scored on a beautiful one-two exchange with Tomas Tatar, who found Sheahan in the slot, he popped it over the glove of Fasth.
Much of the game went the Redwings way. Piling the pressure on the tired Edmonton defense while moving the puck well out of their own end. Detroit had four opportunities on the powerplay to convert but failed to do so. The most crucial one being in over-time on a delay of game penalty called on Marincin. Detroit didn’t manage to generate the chances that they should’ve, clearly missing the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg on the powerplay lines.
The surprising player of the game was Grand Rapids Griffins leading scorer, Teemu Pulkkinen. He has become the sixth rookiee to play for Detroit this season, and impress while doing so. Pulkkinen’s highlight of the night was certainly when he lined up David Perron just over the Detroit blue line with a well-timed hip check to send him hurtling. The Finnish native contributing 2 shots and 7:36 of ice-time.
In an interview post game, Teemu had this to say of his first NHL game experience.
You play your first game, your full of energy, I feel like I still have energy, so it was good for me I played hard every shift. The guys helped me a lot, they told me what to do in certain situations. Thanks to the guys, it was easy for me to play.”
Here is the highlight of the Pulkkinen hit on Perron
Coming into this game Jimmy Howard has no worries facing Edmonton. In fact he was 9-0-0 with a 1.43 GAA, .944 SV%. Howard was perfect in the shoot-out, stopping all three shots faced including the crucial one on Hall.
Danny Dekeyser was cut by a skate during play involving Luke Glendening and Aaron Lander in the left corner. Glendening accidentally tripped over Lander, as his skate came up high right at the unfortunate moment Dekeyser skated in, cutting his lower lip requiring two stitches. He would return to play the rest of the game.
The injury woes continue for Detroit as they have added Jurco to the IR after the Columbus Blue jackets game with an upper-body injury. Here is the full list of injuries to date.
Simon Says 3 Stars Of The Game
- Tomas Tatar – GWG Shoot-out, 1 A, 16:26 ice-time
- Jimmy Howard – 3 sv in SO, 21 sv, .955 sv%, 64:54 TOI
- Riley Sheahan – 1 G, 2 SOG, 17:08 ice-time