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November 27, 2003 - Wings on upswing vs Oilers
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Wings on upswing vs. Oilers

Yzerman scores 670th goal in win; Holmstrom suffers shoulder injury

November 27, 2003

BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

The Red Wings have been on a see-saw lately -- win, loss, win, loss -- and Wednesday night they were up.

Way up.

They dominated Edmonton, 7-1. The shots were 43-16 in Detroit's favor.

"It was a good game for us to get the confidence, to show us that we can score and play good defense and just play a good solid game," forward Kirk Maltby said. "There's no excuses why we shouldn't be playing better hockey on a more consistent basis. If that's not going to do it for us, I don't know what will."

The bad news for the Wings -- already without Dominik Hasek (groin), Derian Hatcher (knee), Darren McCarty (back), Ray Whitney (groin) and Henrik Zetterberg (leg) -- was that Tomas Holmstrom went down in the first period after tumbling into the boards hard. Coach Dave Lewis said Holmstrom suffered a separated right shoulder and would be reevaluated today or Friday, and the Wings were discussing bringing up another player from the minors.

"Homer is going to be out for a while," Lewis said. "Weeks more than days."

Captain Steve Yzerman scored his 670th career goal as he became the 21st man to play 1,400 NHL games. Darryl Bootland got his first NHL goal. Kris Draper had two goals, and Brett Hull, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Thomas also scored for Detroit.

Radek Dvorak scored for Edmonton.

The Wings returned to form on special teams. They had allowed 14 power-play goals in their past 14 games, but they were perfect on the penalty kill against the league's 24th-ranked power play. They had scored only one power-play goal in their past five games, but they scored four on the league's worst penalty-killing unit.

"For whatever reason, tonight they went in," Yzerman said. "That's just kind of the way it goes some nights."

On this night, the Wings were coming off an awful 4-1 loss to Washington, and the Oilers had played the night before at Columbus.

"I think we had a bit of an edge that way," Yzerman said.

Bootland gave the Wings a 2-0 lead with 18.8 seconds left in the first period. Draper cut Bootland's nose in the celebration, but he made up for it by collecting the puck from goaltender Ty Conklin.

"The goalie scooped it up pretty quick," Draper said. "I was like, 'Can I take that, please?' "

Bootland smiled.

"I got the puck and the stick," he said. "I'm going to keep all those things for a long time. My grandkids will be looking at those."

With the score 5-1 in the third, Lewis put Draper, fellow penalty-killer Maltby and Boyd Devereaux out during a 5-on-3 power play.

"The power play guys were getting ready to jump, and we weren't going anywhere," Draper said. "We were just sitting there. I think Lewi asked us, 'OK, do you know the setup?' We were like, 'No. We know how to kill it, but we don't know what we're doing.' "

Oh, yes they do. Draper got his second goal on that power play.

"That," Draper said, "was fun."