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Recap: Red Wings , Oilers
Date: January 04, 2011 9:00 PM EDT
  

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings gave the Edmonton Oilers a lesson in composure.

Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, including the game winner, and the Red Wings snapped a mini-slide with a 5-3 victory over the slumping Oilers on Tuesday night.

After Edmonton rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game late, Detroit got a break when Bertuzzi's shot banked in off the skate of defenseman Ladislav Smid with 2:50 left. The Red Wings, who had dropped two straight, sealed the win 44 seconds later on Darren Helm's goal.

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``It was more interesting than it should have been,' Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. ``We didn't start the third period as well as we wanted to and we didn't get through the neutral zone as good.

``Then they got a chintzy one to tie the game. But I thought we responded very well from there, scoring the two goals. We're getting contributions from everybody right now and we need it when we are short-staffed.'

Henrik Zetterberg and Kris Draper also scored for Detroit, which moved into a tie atop the NHL standings with Vancouver.

``Every game you have to try and take some positives,' Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood said. ``We are playing well on the road.

``We'd like to get our goals-against down but winning is the main thing right now for us. We never got rattled, even when they tied it up.'

Gilbert Brule, Theo Peckham and Sam Gagner scored for Edmonton, which has lost seven straight. It is the Oilers' worst skid since a 13-game slide from Dec. 31-Jan 30 last season.

Edmonton coach Tom Renney was disappointed with his team's unwillingness to go toe-to-toe with the Red Wings until late in the game.

``When the Detroit Red Wings come in here you kind of hope you are going to be OK instead of just going,' Renney said. ``That's what we have to do.

``We just have to go. I would rather have a tough night because we are going after things and stepping on the gas than playing with trepidation. You have to go after them and see what we are capable of.'

Gagner said the Oilers can't keep falling behind early.

``We can't be content with losing close games,' he said. ``We have to play like we do when it's 3-0 or 3-1.

``That's the mentality we need here all the time. When we're down by two or three there's urgency and desperation. It's when we have nothing to lose that we start to play the game differently. We need that mindset all of the game.'

The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead 3:43 in when Zetterberg's point shot found its way in through a sea of bodies in front of goalie Nikolai Khabibulin for his 15th goal of the season.

Edmonton tied it at 11:38 when Brule converted Liam Reddox's drop pass by lifting a backhander over the glove of Osgood.

Detroit regained the lead 6:40 into the second when Bertuzzi took a loose puck behind the net and hooked a backhander past Khabibulin.

The Red Wings made it 3-1 at 10:43 of the second when Helm sent Draper in on a partial breakaway. Draper beat Khabibulin with a great deke for his third goal.

Edmonton closed within 3-2 at 4:54 of the third when Gagner found a pinching Peckham from behind the net, and tied it with 8:29 remaining as Gagner battled to control the puck off a faceoff and fired a shot between Osgood's legs.

NOTES: Detroit won the first two meetings this season after dropping three of four last season. ... Magnus Paajarvi returned from being a healthy scratch and played on Edmonton's first line with Gagner and Ales Hemsky. Rookie D Jeff Petry and veteran Jim Vandermeer came back from injuries. ... Oilers RW Jordan Eberle (ankle) is expected to be out for 2-to-3 weeks. ... Detroit D Brad Stuart was back in the lineup after getting hit in the back of the head by a shot in the Red Wings' previous game against Philadelphia. ... Red Wings RW Patrick Eaves missed his third consecutive game because of an elbow injury. ... Zetterberg and Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom stretched their point streaks to eight games.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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