Tempers flared and sparks flew Saturday as the Edmonton Oilers came out on top of the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in a shootout Saturday.
Despite being outplayed early, the Red Wings came back to take a late 4-3 lead only to give up a goal to Jordan Eberle with 40 seconds on the clock to force overtime.
Detroit needed extra time for the seventh time in the past 13 games to decide a winner, coming into the night 6-0 in shootouts.
Todd Bertuzzi found the back of the net three times, including once in shootout fashion to keep Detroit’s hopes alive, but Edmonton held on for the victory.
Both teams were looking for blood early – and both found what they were looking for Saturday night.
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall rocked forward Ales Hemsky halfway through the first period and was quickly jumped on by Corey Potter.
The retaliation drew blood, and with it a four-minute penalty. Detroit failed to score in the four minutes and the Oilers picked up momentum.
Quick goals by Sam Gagner and Eberle allowed Edmonton to get comfortable against the NHL’s top team.
Henrik Zetterberg took a nasty hit from Ladislav Smid, who was penalized two minutes for boarding, though it didn’t hurt Edmonton.
As the two teams took turns laying the body, Mike Commodore found himself on the losing side of a fight against Ben Eager as the period wound down and would later wind up in another scrum with him near center ice.
Detroit was outplayed early in the game, failing to capitalize on any of the team’s powerplays, including a two-minute 5-on-3.
As the first period came to an end, Valtteri Filppula was credited for a shorthanded goal on an own-goal by Ryan Whitney, moving into second of the team’s point leaders (42).
Gagner scored his second of the night just 36 seconds later to destroy any momentum heading into the intermission.
Joey MacDonald replaced Conklin to start the second period and held off the Oiler’s offense, making 22 saves on 23 shots.
Playing in his 1,086th game, Bertuzzi scored his 300th goal in the third period and then added the go-ahead goal with just over three to play in the game.
Drew Miller followed suit less with his 10th of the season.
In total, the teams racked up 11 penalties, including seven in the first period.
Detroit was miserable on the powerplay (0/4), while Edmonton excelled, scoring twice with the man advantage.
The Red Wings will be back in action Monday at 8 p.m. on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes.