Red Wings drop 5th straight

The Detroit Red Wings extended their winless streak to five games, losing their second straight game to a team that was playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Wings lost, 2-1, to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night at Joe Louis Arena and were outshot, 28-23.

Ex-Red Wing goalie Jonas Gustavsson faced only four shots in the final period from his former team.

“One thing we focus on was breaking the puck out and moving our feet and having support,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I thought we did a great job of that.

“We’re talking about tiny margins here. Very disappointed in the loss, but I thought there was stuff that we did well, much better than … Friday. It’s not a good enough result at all, but again, I thought there was things we took steps forward with.”

Blashill said the Wings must get better at having players going to the net.

Blashill didn’t agree with a suggestion that his team was outplayed in the third period of the past two losses, against teams playing the second night of back-to-backs.

The Oilers outshot the Wings, 5-4, in the final 20 minutes on Sunday.

“We didn’t get the better of them, either,” Blashill said. “We should get the better (of teams) when they played the night before. I get that 100%.

“I think they had five shots. We had four. You know what I mean? There wasn’t a lot going on in the third. They did a good job of buttoning down the hatches. We pressed, but we couldn’t get enough pucks to the net.”

Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard made 26 saves.

Trailing 2-1, the Wings failed to capitalize on an early power play in the third period. Darnell Nurse went off for hooking Andreas Athanasiou at 1:33.

The Oilers used a late power play in the second period to break the 1-1 tie.

Connor McDavid sent a pass to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who scored from the left circle at 19:40 of the second period. The Wings’ penalty kill was so focused on McDavid, it left Nugent-Hopkins open for an easy goal

“To be honest with you, I didn’t really get a good look at the first pass,” Howard said. “I was a little behind it, so I came down.

Howard said when he attempted to get back up, McDavid passed it to Nugent-Hopkins.

“I was caught in between,” Howard said.

Howard said the Wings needed “a little more jam out there, a little bit more, just throwing the pucks on net.”

Dylan Larkin went to the penalty box with 2:56 left in the second period after being called for interference against Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba.

The Wings killed off that penalty but were called for another with 28 seconds left in the period. Mike Green went off for tripping McDavid.

And then McDavid made the Wings pay with his team-leading ninth assist on Nugent-Hopkins’ second goal of the season.

Asked about the penalty, Blashill said only he didn’t agree with the call.

The Wings opened the scoring with a power-play goal by Justin Abdelkader at 8:53 of the first period. Abdelkader knocked in a rebound after a shot by defenseman Brendan Smith. It was Abdelkader’s third goal of the season.

It was the first power play goal allowed by the Oilers on the road this season.

The Wings had gone 2-for-26 on the power play over their previous seven games.

The Oilers tied the game at 16:39 of the first period on Tyler Pitlick’s fourth goal of the season. Pitlick scored on a wraparound.


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