Oilers explode in second period, down Red Wings 5-2

Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Red Wings came out of the All-Star break Tuesday searching for a victory to begin a needed win streak.

They’re still looking, as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Wings 5-2 in the first hockey for either team after a 10-day All-Star break.

Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his 23rd goal, on the power play, at 15:38 of the third period, giving Edmonton a 4-2 lead and Evander Kane (shorthanded) scored his seventh into an empty net at 17:33 to clinch the outcome.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Joe Veleno had Wings goals.

Warren Foegele scored two goals and Ryan McLeod one as Edmonton’s fourth line had a big offensive night.

Port Huron’s Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots for Edmonton, including denying Jonatan Berggren on a third-period breakway with Edmonton clinging to a one-goal lead.

The Wings (21-20-8) lost their second consecutive game and continued to slip further down the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Edmonton (29-18-4) has earned points in nine consecutive games.

BOX SCORE: Oilers 5, Red Wings 2

Veleno scored with nine seconds left in the second period, cutting the Oilers’ lead to 3-2.

Just after the Wings killed Edmonton’s power play for a second time, the Wings knocked Connor McDavid off the puck and started up-ice. Moritz Seider carried the puck into the zone, held on momentarily, then found Veleno coming in from the wing. Veleno snapped his seventh goal past Campbell, giving the Wings life.

Bertuzzi opened the game’s scoring with his second goal. Seider kept the puck in the zone, and got the puck to Larkin along the boards. Larkin found Lucas Raymond sakting alone, and Raymond backhanded a pass across the slot to Bertuzzi, who had an open net at 10:24 of the first period.

The Oilers scored twice in 36 seconds early in the second period to take the lead. McLeod scored his ninth goal at 3:02, tying the game. Just as a four-on-four was ending, McLeod took a pass, skated free into the slot, and beat goaltender Ville Husso cleanly.

Only 36 seconds later, Foegele took a pass from Nugent-Hopkins on a two-on-one and snapped a shot past Husso for a 2-1 lead.

Foegele then added his seventh, and second of the game, deflecting Vincent Desharnais’ shot from the point at 11:55 of the second period.

The Wings kept McDavid, the runaway NHL scoring leader, off the scoresheet.

Heading into the game, coach Derek Lalonde felt it was important for the Wings to not hand opportunities to McDavid.

“Just be above him, not give him easy offense,” Lalonde said. “He’s going to create offense. You see his numbers, you watch their power play, they’re going to get some looks. That’s who they are. But if you’re giving him easy offense, turnovers for offense, time and space on entries, not checking him where he’s feeling the puck and comfortable, he’ll make it a tough night.

“Take away some time and space on him and cross your fingers.”

The Wings have talked extensively over the last several weeks about needing to get on a win streak to get back into the playoff race.

“Everyone would tell you that we need to take a step up,” captain Dylan Larkin said Monday. “We need more goal scoring, we need to collectively win games. We need to start racking them up and get on a streak.”

Lalonde liked the way the Wings were playing before the break, getting solid performances in all phases. Lalonde is hopeful the break will have recharged his team.

“I didn’t mind the way we were playing before the break, having won two of three,” Lalonde said. “Our team game was pretty good. We were limiting goals against and even in our loss, we only gave up two goals. But a break at any time is refreshing and probably needed.”


Twitter: @tkulfan

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