DETROIT – The last few days have been pretty good for Ty Conklin.
The Detroit Red Wings backup goaltender has started and won two consecutive games, sandwiched around the birth of his third child. Conklin made 20 saves for his fifth career shutout Monday night, Jiri Hudler and Niklas Kronwall each had a goal and an assist and Detroit beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0.
“Got a win Friday (3-2 in Florida). Got to see my wife and the baby (son Nash) and now the shutout. Been a good three days,” Conklin said.
The Red Wings signed Conklin as a free agent in July. He had been with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who Detroit beat in last June’s Stanley Cup final, and is 5-1-0 with his new team.
It was his first shutout as a Red Wing.
“It’s nice to get that first one here to get rid of the butterflies early,” Conklin said.
Mikael Samuelsson and Johan Franzen also scored for Detroit, which has won five of its last six. Henrik Zetterberg added two assists for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“I thought we played well tonight,” said Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock. “We didn’t give up much. We looked good on special teams.
Dwayne Roloson stopped 37 shots for Edmonton.
Oilers centre Fernando Pisani broke his ankle as he slid into the boards feet first as he battled for the puck with Red Wings defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom with a little under 15 minutes left in the third period. Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said that Pisani, who was on crutches after the game, would be out at least a month.
Kronwall had a power-play goal in the first and Detroit added two more in the second.
The Red Wings dominated play in the first, outshooting the Oilers 16-9.
“It’s sad that when we’re down just 1-0 after the first period,” said Shawn Horcoff. “… We should be able to build off of that.”
But Samuelsson tipped in Brett Lebda’s pass out of the corner for his fourth of the season and Hudler’s pass from the right circle deflected in off the leg of Edmonton defenceman Sheldon Souray at 14:18.
“The difference was the second period. We have five or six red zone chances where it’s just us and the goalie and we don’t hit the net,” MacTavish said. “And then Samuelsson scores for them to make it 2-0 and then they get another goal and the game was over.”
Franzen added his ninth goal with 9:56 left in the game. He has scored in each of the last four games after missing five contests with a knee injury. He also scored in the game in which he was injured for a five-game goal streak.
Dating back to last season and including the playoffs, Franzen has 37 goals in his last 44 games.
“I got a good start coming back from injury,” he said. “I’ve been scoring every game. That helps the legs feel lighter because I’m not 100 per cent yet skating wise.”
Detroit’s offence was more than enough for Conklin, who played for the Oilers for three seasons.
Notes: Detroit F Dan Cleary was sidelined with an eye infection. … Edmonton F Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.