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Red Wings escape Edmonton with win

Dec 20, 2011 - 6:11 AM Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Drew Miller's game-winning tally came with 4:15 left in regulation, sending Detroit past Edmonton, 3-2, at Rexall Place.

Danny Cleary and Jiri Hudler also found the net for the Red Wings, winners in five of their last six games.

Jimmy Howard needed to make just 21 saves to up his league-best win total to 20.

Ryan Jones and Jordan Eberle scored for the Oilers, who have dropped four in a row. Nikolai Khabibulin played well in defeat, stopping 25 shots.

Detroit surged ahead thanks to hard work down low, as Darren Helm battled to win a loose puck behind the Edmonton net to the right of Khabibulin. He turned and fed back to Nicklas Lidstrom, whose left-point shot was tipped home by Miller.

"I usually come around the net and go to the front, and I saw Cleary went there so I went to the high slot and got my stick on it," Miller said of his path to the winning score. "Sometimes you get a lucky bounce."

The Oilers went 6-on-4 after Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall was whistled for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass with 3:02 to play but couldn't solve Howard.

Henrik Zetterberg's casual backhander toward an empty net inside the final 15 seconds was corralled just in front of the goal line, but one final Edmonton rush was halted due to an offside call with 3.4 seconds to play.

Cleary gave Detroit an early lead, hitting the net just 4:33 after the opening faceoff by redirecting a Jakub Kindl drive.

Jones tied the game at the 2:37 mark of the second by chasing down a lead pass from Sam Gagner and snapping a shot through Howard's pads, but Hudler tallied at 14:36 on a tip of a Zetterberg chance.

Eberle added intrigue by beating the buzzer on a rising shot from between the circles for a power-play marker and 2-2 game after 40 minutes.

"We played a pretty good game," Eberle said. "We played well in the third and we just couldn't find anything around the net and obviously you let a team like that get a point shot and it seemed like they were tipping everything in sight so yeah it's frustrating for sure."

Game Notes

Detroit has won its last seven games against Edmonton dating back to March of 2010, and has taken five of the last seven games in Alberta's capital since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.