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Red Wings edge Oilers, head into All-Star break on winning note

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Detroit Red Wings' Luke Glendening (41) and Andreas Athanasiou (72) celebrate a goal during the third period. Glendening scored twice as the Red Wings defeated the Oilers 3-2 on Tuesday in Edmonton, Alberta.

The Red Wings are heading into a lengthy break with a bit of positive news.

They closed out a three-game western Canada trip and the pre-All-Star break portion of the schedule Tuesday with a 3-2 victory over the woeful Edmonton Oilers.

Luke Glendening scored two goals and Dylan Larkin added the other as the Wings salvaged one victory on the trip.

With the victory, the Red Wings (19-25-7, 45 points) moved out of last place in the NHL overall standings.

BOX SCORE: Red Wings 3, Oilers 2

Edmonton’s Matt Benning cut the lead to 3-2 with 2:26 left in regulation after pulling its goalie. But the Wings, who lost third-period leads in Calgary and Vancouver on this trip, regained their composure and closed out this game.

Larkin and Glendening scored second-period goals, both leaky ones provided by Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen.

When Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl scored his 27th goal early in the third, cutting the lead to 2-1, Wings fans were fair to wonder if another lead was going to disappear.

But Glendening scored again, restoring the two-goal cushion, his eighth of the season.

Edmonton had a power-play attempt with Mike Green in the box for cross-checking late in the third, but the Red Wings’ penalty kill stood tall.

Detroit's goals: Larkin opened the scoring at 4:03 of the second,beating Koskinen on a wicked angle, near the goal line, Larkin’s 21st goal. Glendening made it 2-0 midway in the second period with his seventhl. Glendening blocked a shot on the defensive end, and beat several Oilers down the ice to backhand a pass from Darren Helm. Glendening made it 3-1 at 6:28 of the third, beating Koskinen again with a bad goal allowed between the post and Koskinen.

► Larkin again: Larkin goes into the All-Star break with 26 points in his last 24 games and he played Edmonton star Connor McDavid to, at least, a draw in a battle between two of the young stars in the NHL.

Howard stars: Goaltender Jimmy Howard, the Wings’ representative at the All-Star Game, prepared for the weekend with 32 saves, including 15 in the third period when Edmonton made its only extended push in the game.

Edmonton goals: Draisaitl scored his 27th goal, early in the third period, cutting the lead to 2-1, tapping a bouncing puck past Howard. Benning’s slap shot at 17:34 — with the goaltender pulled — cut the lead to 3-2.

Bertuzzi hurt: Bertuzzi went straight to the locker room after being rammed into the boards, likely suffering some sort of upper body injury. Bertuzzi did not return to the game.

Oilers are a mess: Really, they are. The Oilers just extended Koskinen to a three-year contract, and he didn’t look good on any of the Wings goals. For a team on the cusp of playoff contention, the Oilers played uninspired and listless hockey — which they’ve done often lately, losing three consecutive games (23-24-3).

Next: The Wings are off the for the next nine days. You read that right. With the All-Star break, combined with their bye, the Wings don’t play again until Feb. 1, when they host Toronto.

Twitter: @tkulfan