EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The top two teams in the Western
Conference entered Thursday night's contest mired in frustrating
"We've been in a skid and we're happy to be out of it as soon
as possible," Detroit's Boyd Devereaux said after scoring the
tying goal and setting up the winner.
Steve Yzerman scored with less than six minutes left in the
third period to give the Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton
Oilers on Thursday night.
The victory halted a four-game winless streak for Detroit. The
Red Wings are 1-3-1-0 in their last five, during which they've
scored just five goals.
Anson Carter scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who are
winless in four (0-2-1-1), their longest winless skid of the
Yzerman's eighth goal of the season, a nifty deflection past
goalie Tommy Salo, broke a 1-1 tie at 14:36 of the third.
Ex-Oiler Devereaux found a loose puck behind Salo, skated to the
corner and passed out to Chris Chelios on the point. A low, hard
shot by Chelios was deflected in by Yzerman.
"It's the kind of game we're all pleased to win," said
Yzerman, who assisted on Devereaux's second-period goal. "We had a
strong third period. We moved the puck well."
Detroit leads the NHL with 49 points. Edmonton is third overall
with 40 behind Eastern Conference-leading Toronto's 43.
"Two weeks ago, we said we had to reduce our goals against,"
Yzerman said. "Since then, we've got our shots against and our
goals against down. We'll get our goals."
Devereaux tied the game 6:51 into the second with his fourth
goal. Yzerman won a faceoff in the Edmonton zone, Nicklas Lidstrom
took a shot from the point and the rebound went right to Devereaux,
who beat the prone goaltender with a backhander to the far side.
"This is a tough stretch for our hockey team," said Carter,
who put Edmonton ahead 10:29 into the game with his team-leading
"We gave ourselves a chance to win tonight. If we capitalized
on a couple of chances early, it's a different hockey game."
Mike Comrie took a drop pass from Carter just inside the Detroit
blue line, drifted into the slot and fired a low shot at the net.
Dominik Hasek made the save, but Carter muscled his way to the
rebound and lifted the puck into an open side.
"We just didn't play well enough to win," Oilers coach Craig
MacTavish said. "We're finding ways to lose hockey games and
before we were finding ways to win. That's the margin of error in
Edmonton captain Jason Smith missed his fifth straight game
with a lower back strain. He's day-to-day. ... Edmonton center
Marty Reasoner suffered a broken nose in practice earlier Thursday
when a pass hit a pile of pucks on the ice and bounced into his
face, but played Thursday night. ... Detroit center Igor Larianov
missed his second consecutive game with a finger injury.