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Posted on: 03-19-2010

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    A poor first period and another
shootout failure cost the Red Wings
a 3-2 Friday night loss at Edmonton.
    Even so, a goal by Detroit's Brian
Rafalski with just 0.5-sec left in
regulation earned the Wings one
standings point and Detroit re-tied
Calgary for the 8th and final playoff
spot in the NHGL Western Conference.
    Ryan Potulny on a fake & flick and
Gilbert Brule on a shot just under the crossbar beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on
Edmonton's first two shootout attempts. Only second Detroit shooter Jason Williams on
a backhander could best Oilers rookie goalie Devan Dubnyk. When Dubnyk stopped
Valtteri Filppula with a stick save to end the third round of the shootout, the game
was over.
    Dubnyk got his first NHL career win after an 0-8-2 mark in his first 14 appearances.
    The Oilers started strong with 16-SOG in the 1st-Per and took a 2-0 lead. Andrew
Cogliano scored on a wrister just 57-sec into the game, then he set up Ryan Whitney
(#5) for a snapshot at 4:58/1. Both goals came off end-to-end rushes where Detroit's
defenders were spectators in front of Howard.
    Detroit coach Mike Babcock called timeout to settle his team down, but didn't
say a word during the break. His silence was message enough.
    The Wings got on the board at 11:51/2. Patrick Eaves (#11) concluded a counter-
attack with a right circle slapshot. Shaken up earlier in the game on a hit by Edmonton
DEF Aaron Johnson, Eaves would not return after second intermission as a precaution
in case he'd suffered a concussion.
    With Howard off for an extra attacker, Pavel Datsyuk worked the puck out of
the left corner and found pinching Rafalski (#7) in front of the right side of the net
for a wrist shot over Dubnyk's outstretched glove. The green light went on as the
horn sounded with the clock expired, but video review confirmed Rafalski's shot
cleared the goalline with a half second left in regulation.
    The shootout defeat ended Detroit's three game winning string.


R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK:   "In the end it was a huge point for us, obviously.
But in saying that, we would have liked to have been better at the start...We didn't
play hard enough at the start. They were quick, we were slow, they were better."

R-WINGS DEF BRIAN RAFALSKI:   "Seven, 8 seconds left, the guy tried to cover it up
[in the corner]. I started drifting to the net and hoping one of our guys would dig
it out, and they did. I came to the net, was standing by myself and it rolled right to
me. I shot it in, looked up and it said 0:00. I didn't hear the horn and I just had to
wait [for the confirming video review]. We'll take a point with a half-second [left].
It's better than nothing.''

R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM:   "We took that [1st-Per] timeout, and once
we settled down, we started to play a lot better. In the second and third, we took
the game over but their goalie played well.''

R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD:   "It wasn't because we took them lightly.We knew
they were going to come out hard, but we didn't get our legs under us until about
15 minutes into the first period and that was the game."

R-WINGS FWD PATRICK EAVES:   "I didn’t see who hit me, I talked it over with
[trainer] Piet [Van Zant]. I was a little bit off there. We thought it was necessary
to play it safe."

OILERS GOALIE DEVAN DUBNYK:   "It didn't feel good [at the end of regulation]. I mean
it was pretty crazy how they got one with .02 seconds or whatever it was. I tried not
to think 'Oh no! How is this happening?...I just tried to tell myself to not let anything
get by me in the five-minute overtime and try to win the shootout."

OILERS H-COACH PAT QUINN:   "We did what a bottom-place team does -- we backed
off and gave them lots of room at the end. Dubnyk was really good, in the third period
especially. You never think a puck is going to go in with less than a second left. But
we've had that happen to us earlier this season as well. But at the end of the night it
was thankfully a great result for him. I think everybody is really happy for him."


    R-Wings Capt. Nick Lidstrom played his 1400th career NHL regular season game.  
    Whitney's goal was his first with Edmonton after being acquired at the NHL trade
deadline from Anaheim.
    Detroit visits Vancouver Saturday night to end the three stop western Canada
road trip.
    If Eaves can't play Saturday his spot will be taken by UTIL Derek Meech.


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