SUN Hockey Pool

Powerful power play

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

When it's this good, it looks so simple.

Last night the Detroit Red Wings showcased their impressive power play by scoring three goals with the man advantage. It turned out to be the difference in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

"I think we moved the puck around well, but we had motion as well with our players," said Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. "When our players are moving with the puck, it makes it tougher for them to be in shooting lanes and we're able to get our shots through. And we have a guy in front of the net most of the time."

The Red Wings went 3-for-5 on the power play last night, improving their league-leading percentage to over 34%.

They were only on the man advantage for 4:37 in total.

They also did it without one of their biggest power play weapons in Tomas Holmstrom. The Red Wings forward, who is one of the best in the league tipping pucks in front of the net, was a late scratch, suffering from back spasms during the warm-up.

Tomas Kopecky took his place in front and filled in impressively, obstructing Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson on the Red Wings' first power-play marker and tipping in the second.

"He did a great job standing in front of the net, screening the goalie and deflecting pucks," Lidstrom said.

"He's getting rewarded for going to the tough areas and standing in front of the net. He's able to find those areas where the puck is going to be. He's got quick hands and he knows how to find the back of the net."

Kopecky found out just moments before the game he would be playing on the Wings top power play unit in place of Holmstrom.

Going into the game, the Kopecky had just a pair of assists on the season.

"With those guys it's so easy, you just give them the puck and find a spot in front of the net," he said. "The first one, I didn't even see it, it just hit my pants and went into the net.

"I've learned from the best. You always watch other guys like (Holmstrom) in front of the net.

"Sometimes you get lucky and the puck hits you, and sometimes it hits your stick. That's where you score the goals in front of the net."


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