DETROIT -- The instructions by Edmonton Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish were specific.
With the Detroit Red Wings converting on a third of their power-play opportunities heading into last night's contest, staying out of the penalty box was a priority.
Obviously, that's easier said than done.
Last night, the Red Wings scored their opening goal on a two-man advantage en route to a 4-0 victory over the Oilers. Adding injury to insult was the fact forward Fernando Pisani broke his ankle crashing into the end boards.
"If you were going to draw up what we didn't want to do at the start, that's what we did," said MacTavish. "We got through the first period only down 1-0 and we had opportunities ourselves getting something done on the power play and then the difference was the second period, where we had five or six red zone chances, where we're one-on-one with the goalie and we don't hit the net."
Ethan Moreau took the Oilers' first minor of the contest. And while that was being killed, Sheldon Souray took another, hacking Red Wings pest Tomas Holmstrom standing in his office in front of the net.
As lethal as the Red Wings are one man up, they're practically automatic with the two-man advantage.
Henrik Zetterberg spotted Niklas Kronwall cruising through the slot unmolested and the Wings defenceman took the pass and water-bottled a shot over the shoulder of Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson.
It would be the only goal the Red Wings would score in the period, in large part due to the play of Roloson, who turned aside 15 shots in the frame.
The goal would be the only one the Wings would actually need as Roloson continues to get little run support. It's the fourth time this year (once in the preseason) the Oilers have been shut out with him in goal.
"That's an indictment of our goal-scorers, not about our goalie," MacTavish said. "Our goalie played fine. Our goal scoring is the problem. You get a chance and it's in the crest, or they're muffin shots.
"We're a pretty easy team for the opposition's goaltender night in and night out."
Last night, that opposition goaltender happened to be former Oilers puck stopper Ty Conklin.Conklin finished with 21 saves, collecting his first shutout of the season and fifth of his career.
"It feels good, it was nice for everybody," Conklin said. "We've been scoring a lot of goals and winning a lot of games, but I think we all wanted to be better in our own end and cut down on the number of goals. That's probably as solid a 60-minute effort - certainly defensively - that we've had all year."
In the second, the Wings extended their lead as Mikael Samuelsson was able to redirect a Brett Lebda centring pass by Roloson. Before the end of the period, Jiri Hudler added a third, banking a shot in off the knee of Oilers defenceman Sheldon Souray.
Despite only getting five shots, the Oilers did have some quality chances. However, they completely missed the net on a number of great looks in front of Conklin.
"We're expecting a lot better than what we got tonight," MacTavish said. "Right from the outset, we take the penalties and Detroit capitalized on the power play. We were sloppy in our execution at time and other times we were OK.
"We got some quality looks, but the goal scoring breaks down. We can't score a goal, which is a difficult problem to deal with."
Johan Franzen added the fourth goal in the third period, dancing around Oilers defenceman Denis Grebeshkov and tucking the puck past Roloson.
Pisani was hurt later in the frame as he crashed heavily into the end boards chasing a puck against Wings' defenceman Niklas Lidstrom.
"He broke his ankle," MacTavish said. "Fernando is done for a while, we don't know the period of time, but it's obviously going to be months."