The Detroit Red Wings continued their recent dominance over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon, as a solid penalty kill and a big goal from Niklas Kronwall powered Detroit to a 2-1 win. Goaltender Jimmy Howard came up big in net for the Wings, making 23 saves for his fifth win of the season.
The Wings gave Howard his first night off of the season on Thursday, and the rest appears to have been good for him. Detroit killed off seven of the Oilers’ eight power play chances, including a big kill in the final minutes with Johan Franzen in the box and Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin pulled for the extra attacker. The Red Wings got an early second period power play goal from Pavel Datsyuk, and the Oilers answered near the end of the period with a power play blast from rookie defenseman Justin Schultz. A power play goal from Niklas Kronwall in the third period ended up being enough for the Wings to win the game, and Khabibulin took the hard-luck loss despite making 28 saves.
Kronwall’s goal was the 50th of his career, and the 10th game-winner of his career. The two power play goals tied a season-high for Detroit, and while the eight power plays surrendered tied a season-high, it was the second time this season the Wings have overcome such a margin to get an important win. With a matinee game against the Los Angeles Kings on tap for tomorrow, this was a big win for a Detroit team that has won four of its last six games. Rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek, who got his first NHL win in his first NHL start against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, could get the Sunday start against the Kings.