Marshaling better play on penalty kills and power plays, the Red Wings took more small steps toward overall improvement Saturday with a 2-1 victory in a closely played game against the Oilers. Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall both scored power-play goals, sandwiched around a power-play marker for the Oilers. The Red Wings, however, managed to kill seven penalties, as the frequent-flyer minutes in the penalty boxes around the NHL continued early in the 2013 season amid a crackdown on hooking puck carriers and touching the puck. "Obviously, specialty teams are very important," coach Mike Babcock said after the game. "I thought our penalty kill was outstanding; obviously, the power play was good." In executing so well, amid 15 trips to the sin bin for both teams, the Wings turned the statistical tables on the young Oilers. Heading into the game, Edmonton was fourth in the NHL on the power play and seventh on the penalty kill, while the Red Wings were 26th and 29th, respectively. But, at 8:33 of the second period, with Oilers rookie Nail Yakupov off for unsportsmanlike conduct — apparently for questioning a referee's call — Datsyuk stood immediately in front of the Edmonton net, collected a fine centering pass from Damien Brunner out of the corner and fired it by goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
Power-play surge, Niklas Kronwall's winner lifts Wings past Oilers
Detroit News | Feb 10