EDMONTON, AB – Evander Kane had a pair of goals and the Edmonton Oilers ended up with a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night after having an early 3-0 advantage.
“We got off to a perfect start, if you will,” Kane said. “We played the first five minutes in their end. They had no shots, we had three goals ... couldn’t draw it up any better than that. But we started to get away from what was making us successful.
“We found a way to win. At this time of the year, that is what’s most important.”
Devin Shore, Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman, Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele also scored for the Oilers, who have won three straight as they try to solidify their playoff position.
Marc Staal had a pair of goals and Sam Gagner, Filip Zadina and Lucas Raymond also scored for the Red Wings, who’ve lost six straight.
The Oilers got off to a quick start with three goals before Detroit got its first shot. Edmonton scored two minutes into the contest when Shore tipped a Derek Ryan shot past Detroit goalie Thomas Greiss. The Oilers came into the game with an 18-0 record when scoring first this season.
The home side struck again just 72 seconds later when McDavid redirected a Duncan Keith shot and then put in his own rebound for his 33rd goal of the season.
They then made it 3-0 just four-and-a-half minutes into the first period when Hyman was allowed to cut in front untouched to put a backhand for his 20th past Greiss, who was pulled in favor of Alex Nedeljkovic after allowing three goals on six shots.
“Not a Picasso by any stretch, but what I liked was that even though it wasn’t a perfect night, our team found a way to grind it out when things weren’t going our way in the third period,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “We found a way to make a difference and get the two points.”
Detroit gained some energy afterward and pumped eight straight shots on the Edmonton net, scoring nine minutes into the fist period as Staal sent a shot through heavy traffic in front that got past Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen.
The Oilers added to their lead late in the first on the power play as Yamamoto parked in front of the net to whack home his career-best 14th goal of the season.
Detroit made it 4-2 late in the second period as Gagner cashed in on a giveaway, scoring from a sharp angle.
The Red Wings came roaring back with a pair of goals 34 seconds apart early in the third period. The first goal came on the power play just over two minutes into the third on a one-timer blast from Zadina. That was quickly followed by a rocket from the point by Staal, his second of the game and just third of the season.
“They score three to start and had the puck in our zone for three minutes,” Detroit forward Dylan Larkin said. “We talked about whatever happens, we’re going to play hard, and we did that. We came up short and it stings right now.”
Just over a minute later, Edmonton moved back ahead as Kane picked up his own rebound and beat Nedeljkovic stick-side.
Detroit pulled even again six-and-a-half minutes into the third as Koskinen coughed up the puck behind the net and Raymond pumped the puck into a wide-open net.
Edmonton regained the lead with five minutes left as a no-look wrap-around by Foegele caromed off of Staal and in.
The Oilers put the game away with just over a minute left as Kane scored an empty-netter, his 10th of the season in 21 games.
Both teams return to action on Thursday, as the Oilers play host to the Buffalo Sabres and the Red Wings head to Vancouver to face the Canucks.
Red Wings: Robby Fabbri (knee), Danny DeKeyser (undisclosed), Carter Rowney (lower body) and Mitchell Stephens (lower body). They were also missing Tyler Bertuzzi, who can’t play in Canada due to his unvaccinated status.
Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (upper body), Kris Russell (undisclosed), Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body) and Kyle Turris (upper body).
Red Wings: At Vancouver on Thursday.
Oilers: Host Sabres on Thursday.