Despite frittering away an early lead, the Edmonton Oilers won their third game in a row, dropping the Detroit Red Wings 7-5 Tuesday night at Rogers Place.
“Not a Picasso by any stretch,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after it was said and done.
“What I liked was even though it wasn’t a perfect night, our team found a way to grind it out when things weren’t going our way.”
The Oilers dominated the opening shifts of the game. Devin Shore tipped Derek Ryan’s shot to make it 1-0 before the game was two minutes old. Connor McDavid poked in his 33rd goal of the season, then Zach Hyman blazed in and scored on a backhand to make it 3-0 Oilers 4:35 into the game.
That was it for Wings goalie Thomas Greiss, who was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots.
“We got out to probably a perfect start,” Oilers winger Evander Kane said after the game. “Couldn’t draw it up any better than that.
“I think we started to get away from what was making us successful in those first five (minutes) and maybe got a little too comfortable with where we were at in the game, and obviously that leaked into the second and the third (periods).”
Detroit responded with some hard work and notched a goal off the stick off Marc Staal. The Oilers went on the power play late in the first. McDavid fed Kailer Yamamoto for a tap-in and a 4-1 lead.
Sam Gagner scored the only goal of the second period, beating Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen from a sharp angle.
Edmonton Oilers topple Tampa Bay 4-1
The Wings tied it with goals 34 seconds apart early in the third. Filip Zadina ripped in a power-play one-timer, then Staal banged home his second of the night.
“I think we got away from what was making us successful,” Oilers forward Warren Foegele said. “That’s playing north, getting pucks behind their defence, and we were making plays that we haven’t been doing a lot lately, and that’s something we don’t want to creep into our game.”
Kane restored the Oilers’ lead with his ninth less than two minutes later, but the Wings replied again. Koskinen got caught behind the net, allowing Lucas Raymond to make it 5-5.
With 5:25 remaining, Foegele’s wraparound try glanced off Staal and skittered up Detroit goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
“Honestly, I was trying to feed Shore backdoor, but it’s one of those bounces that finally went my way this time,” Foegele said post-game.
“I’m happy for Warren to get rewarded, and he finished the night plus-three, so he’s doing some things properly,” Woodcroft said.
Kane added an empty-netter for his second goal of the night
Fifteen of Edmonton’s 18 skaters recorded at least a point in the game.
The Oilers (33-23-4) will host Buffalo on Thursday.
–With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.