Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, including the game winner, and the Red Wings snapped a mini-slide with a 5-3 victory over the slumping Oilers on Tuesday night.
After Edmonton rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game late, Detroit got a break when Bertuzzi's shot banked in off the skate of defenseman Ladislav Smid with 2:50 left. The Red Wings, who had dropped two straight, sealed the win 44 seconds later on Darren Helm's goal.
"It was more interesting than it should have been," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "We didn't start the third period as well as we wanted to and we didn't get through the neutral zone as good.
"Then they got a chintzy one to tie the game. But I thought we responded very well from there, scoring the two goals. We're getting contributions from everybody right now and we need it when we are short-staffed."
"Every game you have to try and take some positives," Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood said. "We are playing well on the road.
"We'd like to get our goals-against down but winning is the main thing right now for us. We never got rattled, even when they tied it up."
Edmonton coach Tom Renney was disappointed with his team's unwillingness to go toe-to-toe with the Red Wings until late in the game.
"When the Detroit Red Wings come in here you kind of hope you are going to be OK instead of just going," Renney said. "That's what we have to do.
"We just have to go. I would rather have a tough night because we are going after things and stepping on the gas than playing with trepidation. You have to go after them and see what we are capable of."
Gagner said the Oilers can't keep falling behind early.
"We can't be content with losing close games," he said. "We have to play like we do when it's 3-0 or 3-1.
"That's the mentality we need here all the time. When we're down by two or three there's urgency and desperation. It's when we have nothing to lose that we start to play the game differently. We need that mindset all of the game."
The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead 3:43 in when Zetterberg's point shot found its way in through a sea of bodies in front of goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for his 15th goal of the season.
Edmonton tied it at 11:38 when Brule converted Liam Reddox's drop pass by lifting a backhander over the glove of Osgood.
Detroit regained the lead 6:40 into the second when Bertuzzi took a loose puck behind the net and hooked a backhander past Khabibulin.
The Red Wings made it 3-1 at 10:43 of the second when Helm sent Draper in on a partial breakaway. Draper beat Khabibulin with a great deke for his third goal.
Edmonton closed within 3-2 at 4:54 of the third when Gagner found a pinching Peckham from behind the net, and tied it with 8:29 remaining as Gagner battled to control the puck off a faceoff and fired a shot between Osgood's legs.
|Valteri Filppula celebrates after Todd Bertuzzi's goal sneaks past Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin. (AP)|
Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks 2009 Winter Classic Mega Shop Now!
|03:43||- Henrik Zetterberg (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Lidstrom, Miller|
|11:38||- Gilbert Brule (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Reddox, Omark|
|06:40||- Todd Bertuzzi (6), Backhand Shot. Assist: Hudler, Filppula|
|10:43||- Kris Draper (3), Backhand Shot. Assist: Helm, Rafalski|
|04:54||- Theo Peckham (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gagner, Hemsky|
|11:31||- Sam Gagner (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hemsky|
|17:10||- Todd Bertuzzi (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kronwall, Filppula|
|17:54||- Darren Helm (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Abdelkader, Lidstrom|
|20:00||Smid, 2 min, Boarding|
|03:37||Abdelkader, 2 min, Holding|
|14:39||Rafalski, 2 min, Hooking|
|17:21||Paajarvi, 2 min, Holding|
|20.0||Lidstrom, 2 min, Interference|
|Shots On Goal|
|Attendance - 16839|
|Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Ian Walsh|
|Linesmen - Shane Heyer, David Brisebois|