Oilers 4 Red Wings 1
DETROIT — The Edmonton Oilers made the most of what the generous Detroit Red Wings gave them.
Patrick O’Sullivan scored twice in the second period and Jeff Deslauriers made 27 saves to lift Edmonton to a 4-1 win over Detroit on Thursday night.
Lubomir Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson also scored for the Oilers. Two of Edmonton’s goals were accidentally directed into the net by Red Wings players.
“Lucky bounces for us,” said Deslauriers, who was pulled in the Oilers’ 7-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday. “We haven’t had too many lucky bounces this year. We’ll take it.”
Dan Cleary scored for Detroit and Jimmy Howard stopped 32 shots.
“I didn’t think we were any good,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I saw continuous turnovers, guys getting beat up the ice. We weren’t good. They were better than us from start to finish.”
O’Sullivan made it 3-1 at 8:50 of the second when Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk deflected O’Sullivan’s attempted pass in the high slot. The puck then slid slowly into the net under Howard’s pads.
O’Sullivan scored his sixth goal of the season 2:57 later when he moved from the slot into the left circle and scored into an empty net after taking a pass from Sheldon Souray.
“The first one was a lucky bounce,” O’Sullivan said. “The second one, it’s not a lot at this level where you have that much time. Jimmy came out of the net real far and I was able to take advantage of it.”
O’Sullivan has been struggling offensively this season.
“This, hopefully, will help him,” Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. “He’s fighting the confidence and has been a guesser when he has the puck. It’s not good when you’re a guesser out there.”
Edmonton led 2-1 after the first period.
Visnovsky was credited with his sixth goal, opening the scoring 5:50 into the game. Detroit defenceman Brett Lebda accidentally batted the puck into his net out of the air.
“They got two great bounces for themselves,” Howard said. “That’s the difference in the game, basically.”
Nilsson made it 2-0 with 2:51 left in the first on a flashy play in which he put the puck between defenceman Jonathan Ericsson’s legs at the bottom of the left circle, made a move on Howard and slid a forehand shot into the net for his second goal.
“When he gets in that spot, he’s got the skill. That’s not the question,” Quinn said. “The thing is getting to that spot.”
Cleary put the Red Wings on the board with less than one second left in the period when he put in a one-timed shot from the high slot for his sixth goal.
NOTES: Detroit D Brian Rafalski (back) and RW Patrick Eaves (ankle) sat out. … Detroit D Jakub Kindl made his NHL debut. … Oilers C Mike Comrie, who played college hockey at Michigan, missed his seventh game because of mononucleosis. … Nilsson returned after missing 10 games due to a concussion. … Edmonton’s previous five wins over Detroit had been in shootouts. … Ericsson was helped off the ice with 6:24 left. Babcock said he was day-to-day. … The Oilers sent RW Colin McDonald to Springfield of the AHL after the game.