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Detroit 6, Edmonton 2
Posted: Friday February 21, 2003 01:27 AM
Edmonton Oilers
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Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT (Ticker) -- The Detroit Red Wings bounced back impressively from one of their most demoralizing losses of the season. And there's more good news on the way.

Brendan Shanahan recorded his first hat trick in 16 months and scored two of the Red Wings' five power-play goals as they coasted to a 6-2 rout of the slumping Edmonton Oilers.

Two nights after blowing a three-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to Vancouver, Detroit went 5-for-7 with the man advantage and came within one power-play goal of tying the 61-year-old team record.

"There were a lot of angry guys after that game," Shanahan said. "It sounds strange, but maybe we needed to show a veteran club what happens when it gets to that point. I think we put more pressure on ourselves as a group than anybody else puts on us."

Shanahan scored twice in the opening period and the Red Wings never looked back as they won for the fourth time in five games. They learned before the game that injured captain Steve Yzerman plans to return next week after missing the entire season following knee surgery.

"I'm excited to get him back. I think everybody is," said Detroit's Curtis Joseph, who made 33 saves against his former team.

Tomas Holmstrom also tallied twice and Sergei Fedorov collected three assists for Detroit, which ended a three-game winless streak against Edmonton.

"We played pretty well (on Tuesday), but they capitalized on our mistakes late in the game," Holmstrom said. "Tonight, everyone was really focused to come out and do a good job right to the end of the game."

Rookie Jani Rita and Todd Marchant scored for the Oilers, who lost four straight to conclude a 1-3-0-1 road trip.

"Obviously, it was a product of our inability to stop the power play with our inability to stay out of the penalty box," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "They were an exceptionally hungry team out there tonight and they checked us into the ground. We played tentative and scared. When you do that, you make mistakes."

Shanahan put a wrist shot from the edge of the right faceoff circle between the pads of goaltender Tommy Salo at 3:07 of the first period and whipped a one-timer inside the left goalpost just under nine minutes later for the Red Wings' first power-play goal.

After Holmstrom sandwiched his goals around one by Rita, Igor Larionov finished off a pretty give-and-go with Brett Hull to make it 5-1.

Marchant scored midway through the second period, but Shanahan completed his 15th career hat trick off a 2-on-1 with 7:26 left. It made Detroit 10-for-14 on the power play in the last four games.

"I think we're finally getting used to the players who are out there," Shanahan said. "There's a lot of passing and players are arriving at the spot where the puck is going. They're not standing still, wondering where the puck is going to go."

"They moved the puck around well," Marchant said. "We knew that was going to give them opportunity after opportunity. When you play a sit-back style of penalty-killing, that's what happens. Plain and simple, we played a stupid game."

Salo surrendered four goals on 20 shots and was replaced by Jussi Markkanen midway through the second period.