Special DElivery: Red Wings tight-checking ways lead them past Edmonton

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By Darren Eliot -

The Red Wings kept their tight-checking ways in tact, stifling the young Oilers burgeoning attack for yet another win at Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit picked up a 3-0 win Thursday night over Edmonton, improving to 5-1-1 in their last seven contests.

The Wings’ defensive mindset meant that not much happened in the first period, save for a Pavel Datsyuk spin-o-rama pass to Kyle Quincey, who rifled a shot off the crossbar.

In the second period, the Wings came to life, generating chances with speed through the neutral zone. Jakub Kindl fought hard and squibbed a put-back between the pads of Devan Dubnyk.

Then the Wings’ forecheckers went to work, in particular Cory Emmerton. He netted his second of the season on his fourth shot of the game -feisty work for a guy logging less than eight minutes of ice time through 40 minutes.

So, after dominating the second and taking a 2-0 lead into the third, the only question was: Would the Wings sit back as they did in the same situation on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche? The answer was a resounding “No.” The Wings kept the pressure on the Oilers, giving them little hope in terms of a comeback. When the puck did get to the net, Jimmy Howard was there.

After a 0-3-2 skid, the Red Wings have grabbed the wheel and straightened out many facets of their game. They head into a home-and-home weekend series against the Columbus Blue Jackets on a 5-1-1 run that feels real. It may look different than years past, but this positive run is steeped in defense first and contributions from many.

No matter how, winning is always satisfying. Like an empty-net goal to ice it by Justin Abdelkader for his first goal of the season, shutouts are just a bonus.