EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—There’s no team better than the Edmonton Oilers when it comes to shootouts.
“It’s always nice to have a positive record, but it is all about winning games,” Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon said. “Those shootout wins have been huge for us because almost half of our wins have come that way.”
The Oilers, 29-30-5 overall, are 13-3 in shootouts, breaking the record previously held by the Dallas Stars, who went 12-1 in 2005-06.
Edmonton attribute most of the team’s success to Garon.
“In shootouts, he is awesome,” Nilsson said. “That’s what gives us so much confidence in those situations. He stopped three out of three again today. He’s one of the best shootout players in the world.”
Fernando Pisani sent it to overtime on a late power-play goal when he took a shot through a pile of players in front of Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood and into the goal with just 28 seconds left to play in regulation.
“Toward the end, we were just firing pucks and getting everything we could at the net,” Pisani said. “It was a mad scramble in front and I just kind of chipped away at it and it trickled in.”
Then, it was up to Garon to come up big in overtime and the shootout.
“When you have a goaltender that has only allowed two goals in 29 shots, that’s pretty spectacular,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “Especially with the quality shooters you face at this level. One goal is normally enough in a shootout with Mathieu in net.”
“We had so many opportunities it wasn’t even funny,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s been tough lately, and tonight was no different.”
Detroit appeared to have the game in hand after erasing a two-goal deficit with a pair of power-play goals in the third and then taking the lead with just 2:16 remaining when Filppula powered a shot through the legs of Garon.
The game was scoreless through the first period before Edmonton broke the deadlock after some sustained pressure three minutes into the second. Nilsson made a nice feed to Gilbert at the side of the net and he outwaited Osgood before chipping the puck into the top corner.
The Red Wings had a chance to tie it late in the period on a partial breakaway opportunity for Datsyuk. Garon made the initial stop, only to see the puck deflect high in the air and land behind him, nearly going into the net before skittering wide.
The Oilers took a 2-0 lead 1:44 into the third as Sanderson raced past Ericsson and cut in hard on net, beating Osgood through the five-hole.
Injury-riddled Edmonton lost another player early in the third period as defenseman Joni Pitkanen took a clearing shot off the foot and had to be helped off of the ice. He didn’t return.
Ericsson’s first career goal got Detroit back into the game six minutes into the third.
The Red Wings tied it six minutes later when Tomas Holmstrom provided the screen on Datsyuk’s wrist shot.
: Red Wings goalie Dominik Hasek returned for the first time since suffering a hip injury on Feb. 9, serving as Osgood’s backup. … Even with Hasek back, the Wings were without defensemen Chris Chelios, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski and forward Dan Cleary, although all are expected back before the playoffs. … For the Oilers, Raffi Torres, Sheldon Souray, Shawn Horcoff and Ethan Moreau are gone for the season with injuries, and Ladislav Smid is also sidelined. … The Red Wings acquired defenseman Brad Stuart from Los Angeles at the trade deadline, but he isn’t expected to join the team until their next practice Thursday in Detroit.