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Nugent-Hopkins returns, carries Oilers to SO win over Red Wings

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins netted the game-winning 4 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Rexall Place.

Nugent-Hopkins, who returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering a left shoulder injury on January 2, picked up the puck at center ice and went in deliberately on Wings goalie Joey MacDonald. Nugent-Hopkins faked forehand- backhand and fired a quick wrist shot to the blocker side of MacDonald.

Devan Dubnyk stopped Danny Cleary on Detroit's final attempt to seal the win for the Oilers, who broke a seven-game slide against the Red Wings.

"I think we started out really strong and came out flying," Nugent-Hopkins said. "In the third period, we knew they were going to come out strong, we just had to weather that storm. They got a few good goals but in the end I thought it was a really good character win for us."

Coming off a ridiculous eight-point game in an 8-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, Sam Gagner continued his offensive assault on the NHL with two goals and an assist in regulation. Jordan Eberle also added a pair of goals for the Oilers, who got 35 saves from Dubnyk en route to their third straight win.

Todd Bertuzzi scored twice, while Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Red Wings, who had their brief two-game winning streak snapped.

Ty Conklin gave up three goals on nine shots before getting yanked in favor of MacDonald, who stopped 22-of-23 shots.

Edmonton opened the scoring with a power-play tally just 2:42 into the game when Ryan Whitney ripped a slap shot from the point that was stopped by Conklin, but Gagner was parked in front and slammed home the rebound.

Edmonton extended its lead to 2-0 at 5:41 of the opening period after Gagner threw one on net from just inside the left circle and Eberle was the first to spot the puck in the crease amid a scramble and tap it in.

Detroit cut the deficit to 2-1 while shorthanded off a turnover in the defensive zone by the Oilers. Filppula jumped on a loose puck in the slot and wristed one on net, which he didn't get all of, but the lack of velocity on the shot caught Dubnyk by surprise and it trickled over the line for the goal.

The Oilers though, atoned for their blunder when Gagner struck again in the dying seconds of the first period. Ryan Smyth threw one on goal from the right circle and Gagner was in perfect position in front of Conklin to deflect it into the net.

After a scoreless second period, Detroit came out on fire in the third and scored three consecutive goals to take a 4-3 lead.

Bertuzzi tucked one home from in front with a wrist shot 2:18 into the period, then Miller slid one past Dubnyk off a nice centering feed from Darren Helm at 5:49, and Bertuzzi capped the scoring burst with his second of the night 16:19 after he dangled past his checker in the left circle and wired a wrist shot high over Dubnyk's left shoulder.

"If anything, we should feel good we got the one point," Bertuzzi said. "We didn't play very well in the first period. In the second we got a little better and obviously turned it on in the third period, but we still wanted the two points. We gave ourselves a good chance to do it, just came up a little short."

Edmonton fought to the end though, and got rewarded with the tying goal with just 39 seconds to play. Following good forechecking work behind the net, the puck came out front to Eberle, and he made no mistake, tapping it into the open cage.

Game Notes

The Red Wings fell to 6-1 in shootouts this season, while Edmonton improved to 3-4...It was Bertuzzi's second two-goal game of his career...Edmonton finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while the Red Wings went 0-for-4 on the power play...Detroit will visit the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday, while the Oilers will be on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs, also on Monday.