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Jimmy Howard comes up big in Wings 2-1 win over Oilers

Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings
Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings

Detroit, MI (WQLR) – Jimmy Howard moved into a sixth place tie with Greg Stefan for most wins in franchise history with 115 after making 23 saves on 24 shots as the Red Wings double upped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Howard returned to the starting lineup after receiving a much needed game off. The Red Wings net-minder had started all nine of the Wings games before Petr Mrazek made the start during Detroit’s previous contest, a 5-1 victory over St. Louis on Thursday. With the game off, Howard looked refreshed and energized; making some huge saves, especially in the last 2:30 of the game, after the Oilers pulled their goalie for an extra skater.    

 Pavel Datsyuk recorded a goal and assisted on another, while moving into 7th place all time for points as a Red Wing, passing Ted Lindsey. The Wings also improved their record to 30-0-4 over the last 34 games when Datsyuk scores.

After a scoreless first period, the Wings were able to take advantage of a 5-on-3 power play, as Damian Brunner found Datsyuk in front of the net, and Datsyuk pounded in his fourth goal of the season past Oiler goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.

Justin Schultz tied the game with a power play goal of his own for the Oilers, sailing a wrist shot passed a screened Howard who had no shot at making the save, with 2:05 left in the second.

The Wings penalty kill went seven for eight, but none was bigger than the 67 second 5-on-3 power play they killed early in the third period. Shortly after killing the power play, Niklas Kronwall scored the go ahead goal, 34 seconds into a power play for the Wings, with just over 14 minutes remaining in the third. It was his first goal of season, and 50th career goal.

The Red Wings return to action tomorrow in another afternoon game against 2012 Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings. Game time is set for 12:30pm.