Oilers vs Red Wings Recap: 3.7.2013

Solid win by the whole team tonight. Edmonton isn’t that great, but those are the games the Wings have to win if they’re going to make the playoffs. The bottom six led the way on the scoreboard tonight. Kindl, Emmerton and finally even Abby put one in.

More after the jump:

I know, I know, Abby scored in the empty net. <Joke about how he can’t score with a goalie in the way.> <Joke about how he’s totally a legit sniper now.> Fact is, this was his best game of the season and he deserved to be on the score sheet. Another fact? He’s still not top six material and I’m looking forward to having him back on the 4th line. Something tells me he is, too. As fun as it must be to play with Pavel, I don’t think he cares for the added pressure of actually producing points. Regardless, he seemed really happy as cameras caught his smile moments after scoring:

Howard is playing the best I’ve ever seen him play. Whenever someone fires a shot at him, I expect it to be stopped. On those few occasions that it has gone in, I’ve been surprised. I like having a goalie like that.

The bottom 6 carried the day, but the line of Brunner, Zetterberg and Franzen has struggled lately. They’re still getting chances, but some unlucky break ends up screwing them. Yeah, I know Franzen scored two nights ago from Brunner, but they’re a few bad bounces per game away from blowing some teams out.

White is going to have a tough time making the lineup the way things are going right now. I don’t think he sucks by any means, but you just can’t mess with the blueline when it’s playing this well. Hopefully he can stay cool until his time comes.

No penalties against tonight. Only one PP and that was Detroit’s. The refs probably could have found some more hooks and holds to call if they wanted to, but they let the teams play and in this case I think that benefitted Detroit the most.

NOHS Three Stars of the Game:

First Star: Howard. Gotta give the goalie the top star when he gets the shutout, even if this game was much easier than the Colorado game.

Second Star: Emmerton. I had a feeling he would score tonight when he had all those close calls. He was working hard and going to the net like a good 4th liner should.

Third Star: Abdelkader. Come on! When else am I going to get to put him here? He played a good game today. He’s still dragging Pavel down some, but not like before. And if Cleary doesn’t deflect one of his shots away, he has two goals tonight.

Honorable Mention: Tatar, Eaves and Andersson. Those guys never give up on a play and are a blast to watch.

Dishonorable Mention: Brunner! Dude! The icing! Dude!

Next game is Saturday against the Blue Jackets. Must win. If Detroit loses, they are guaranteed a losing record against the Jackets this year. Can’t allow that.