DETROIT (AP) — Vladislav Namestnikov scored in each of the first two periods to help the Detroit Red Wings take a three-goal lead, and they went on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Tuesday night.
“This is definitely one of our best games,” Namestnikov said. “We didn’t give them much in the first two periods, and if we play like that, we’ll win a lot of games.”
The Oilers had won nine of their first 10 games for the first time in franchise history, but they could not overcome a slow start in Detroit.
“Not enough urgency,” Edmonton coach Dave Tippett said. “They came out and played a desperate first period and we didn’t match that level and we got behind.”
The Oilers went 0 for 2 on the power play after becoming the first team since Pittsburgh in 2007 to open a season with a power-play goal in 10 straight games.
“They are eventually going to score on anyone, but it helps if you take two instead of taking six,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.
The Red Wings have won three in a row and their rebuilding efforts finally seem to be paying off.
Dylan Larkin put Detroit ahead 3-0 midway through the second period, rookie Moritz Seider had an empty-net goal Alex Nedeljkovic finished with 31 saves.
“A huge part of winning that game was goaltending, but our battle level was very high,” Blashill said.
Jesse Puljujarvi scored on a breakaway with 34.2 seconds left in the second to pull the Oilers within two. The only other time Edmonton was trailing going into the third period, it lost to Philadelphia on Oct. 27.
Connor McDavid cut the deficit to one in the opening minute of the third, scoring for the ninth time this season. The two-time MVP has at least a point in all 11 games this season.
“Dug ourselves a hole again,” McDavid said. “I liked our response. I liked our third period. We had enough chances to tie the game, but you can’t keep digging yourself that type of hole.”
Edmonton goalie Stuart Skinner stopped 35 shots in his season debut, filling in for Mikko Koskinen on the first night of a five-game road trip. Skinner m ishandled the puck, helping the Red Wings go ahead 3-0 on Larkin’s goal.
“I just fanned on it. Hard fan,” he said. “Bad timing. If that doesn’t happen, potentially we’re still playing.”
Facing a team with some of the game’s greats, Namestnikov was the star of the show.
Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman drafted Namestnikov with the No. 27 overall pick in 2011 while leading Tampa Bay’s front office and signed him last year as a free agent. The Russian is producing this season, scoring seven goals after he had eight last season.
“I think last year was just a weird time with the pandemic and I hit a lot of posts,” Namestnikov said. “This year, I had a good summer and some pucks have gone in.”
NOTES: Oilers F Zack Kassian was limited to three-plus minutes on the ice, leaving the game with a lower-body injury. Tippett said he didn’t have an update after the game. … Detroit RW Sam Gagner played in his 900th game. Edmonton drafted Gagner No. 6 overall in 2007 and he had 317 points with the Oilers in 542 games from 2007 to 2014 and from 2018 to 2020. … McDavid is on his sixth point streak of at least 10 games, and just six players had at least that many before turning 25: Wayne Gretzky (14), Denis Savard (8), Pierre Turgeon (7), Mario Lemieux (7), Paul Coffey (7) and Mike Bossy (7). … Red Wings D Gustav Lindstrom was in the lineup for the second straight game after being activated from IR. … Skinner was recalled from the AHL’s Bakersfield Condo on Oct. 30 when Mike Smith went on IR. … Namestnikov is the nephew of former Red Wings player Vyacheslav Kozlov and son of ex-NHL player Evgeny Namestnikov.
Oilers: Play at Boston on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Host Washington on Thursday night.
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