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OT win extends Wings' dominance of Oilers

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EDMONTON -- Down, but not out.

The Detroit Red Wings were 16 minutes away from adding a fourth loss to what was shaping up to be a back-breaking streak when they took a look across the ice and remembered which team they were playing.

Having taken at least one point from 40 of their past 42 games with the Edmonton Oilers, the Wings rolled up their sleeves and did what they always do when the teams meet.

Three goals later, the last in overtime, Detroit skated away with a 3-2 win Friday.

Never a dull moment with the new-look Wings.

"It's been a lot of peaks and a lot of valleys for us," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard after a clutch win that moved the Wings back into the Western Conference's top eight. "We haven't found that even keel every single night, but we have a lot of younger guys who have stepped up for us."

On Friday night at Rexall Place, it was one of the older guys, Pavel Datsyuk, who stepped up with the overtime winner as the Wings, adjusting to life after Nicklas Lidstrom, fight to re-establish themselves.

"You're not going to replace Nick Lidstrom," Howard said. "It's about guys getting an opportunity to play and then running with it, going out there and proving they can win."

Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes, Detroit proved it once again to Edmonton, scoring twice in the third period (Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall) to force overtime.

The Oilers, returning to Edmonton after a nine-game, 17-day road trip that saw them go 3-4-2 and stay within striking distance of a playoff spot, desperately needed to keep their momentum going at home.

They didn't.

Edmonton (10-11-6) scored first, with Taylor Hall splitting Detroit's defense like the Red Sea, walking in on Howard and making it 1-0 at 3:24 of the first period. Despite plenty of Edmonton pressure in the first, shots were 8-1 at the 10-minute mark, it stayed 1-0 after 20 minutes.

It was back and forth in the second period, with Detroit starting to apply some pressure, but the Oilers increased their lead.

Nail Yakupov started it out with some great work down low, and Sam Gagner went into the tough area to finish it off, scoring his team-leading 11th of the season to make it 2-0 Edmonton after 40 minutes.

The Wings made it exciting 4:27 into the third period when Filppula lifted one past Devan Dubnyk for his sixth of the year.

The Wings (13-10-5) tied it with five minutes to go in the third when Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry accidentally shot the puck into his own net while trying to clear it around the end boards. Kronwall was credited with a power-play goal.

Then Datsyuk struck the final blow, leaving Edmonton to lament blowing a two-goal lead at home in the third period.

"It cost us a point in the standings," said Hall, who had a goal and an assist. "And you never know what point is going to get you in or out.

"When we see a team like that, we have to go at them, we have to play intense and make them play in their own end. It seemed like we played a lot in our end (in the third). We played a good 40 minutes, there's no doubt about that, but the 20 minutes there at the end is what cost us the game."

Gagner knows the Oilers let one get away, and given their place in the Western Conference standings (tied for 12th), they can't let it happen again.

"We're fighting for our playoff lives here," Gagner said, "so we have to focus on the next one."

NOTES: The Oilers were looking for their longest win streak of the season, three games. ... Edmonton is a mediocre 4-4-3 at home this season. ... Oilers center Jordan Eberle has one assist in the last four games and hasn't scored a goal in 11 games. ... After scoring five goals in his first eight games, Yakupov has one in his last 19. ... With Ryan Jones out due to the flu, Teemu Hartikainen played for the Oilers. ... The Wings are just 4-6-2 on the road this season. ... Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg has three points in his last nine games. ... Datsyuk has five in the last six. ... Howard and Ian White were back in Detroit's lineup after missing a game with the flu. ... Fifteen of Detroit's 17 power-play goals this season have come at home.
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