Edmonton Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (35) pushes the puck toward teammate Cam Barker (13) after a shot by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (5) during the second period.
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DETROIT — Drew Miller and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings extended their home winning streak to 18 games with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
The Red Wings overcame two more goals by Edmonton’s Sam Gagner to move within two wins of the NHL record of 20 straight home victories, set by the Boston Bruins durinptorg the 1929-30 season and matched by Philadelphia in 1976. The Bruins also won 19 in a row in Boston during the 1970-71 season.
Johan Franzen and Cory Emmerton also scored for Detroit, but Gagner answered with a pair of goals to tie the game. He has eight goals and six assists in four games.
After Gagner’s power play goal made it 2-2 with 11:37 remaining, Miller scored his 11th of the season amid a scramble in front. After Justin Abdelkader’s shot from the slot was stopped by Nikolai Khabibulin, the Edmonton goalie appeared to think he had the puck frozen. But it was behind him, sitting tantalizingly in the crease, and Miller was able to poke it in the net.
Zetterberg added an insurance goal with 5:16 to play, beating Khabibulin from a tough angle to the goalie’s right.
The Red Wings, who have the league’s best overall record, played the first of six consecutive home games. They will host Anaheim on Friday night.
Franzen opened the scoring on a power play, positioning himself in front of Khabibulin and redirecting Ian White’s shot from the point with 6:42 remaining in the first period. It was Franzen’s 21st goal of the season.
Emmerton made it 2-0 early in the second, scoring on a backhander from in front after Abdelkader tried to jam the puck past Khabibulin.
Detroit outshot the Oilers 20-9 through two periods but led only 2-1 thanks to Gagner’s breakaway goal. It appeared Edmonton’s Ben Eager might fight Jonathan Ericsson in front of the benches, but when Gagner took a lead pass and cruised alone into the Detroit zone, Eager spun away to join his teammate on the rush.
Gagner has had at least a point in five straight games, including his four-goal, four-assist effort against Chicago on Thursday. He scored again in the third period to tie the game and give him 13 goals this season.
Joey MacDonald made 15 saves for Detroit, earning his first win of the season in only his third appearance. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said regular starter Jimmy Howard (broken finger) is unlikely to be back this weekend.
NOTES: Edmonton coach Tom Renney was back behind the bench after missing Monday’s game at Toronto because he was struck in the head by a puck during a morning skate. The cut required stitches and left Renney with headaches. ... Detroit is 21-2-1 at home this season. ... Red Wings F Danny Cleary, who assisted on Emmerton’s goal, left the game in the second period because of an undisclosed lower body injury and didn’t return.
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