NHL

Oilers-Red Wings Preview

It took five months for the Detroit Red Wings to join the rest of the NHL by losing two straight games in regulation.

A third seems unlikely with the ever-slumping Edmonton Oilers visiting Joe Louis Arena on Monday night and nearly five years of dominance in the series on the Red Wings' side.

Detroit (36-17-11) followed a 5-2 loss to Calgary on Friday with Sunday's 5-3 defeat in Boston, marking its first back-to-back regulation losses March 25-27. With the first 63 games of 2014-15 combined with the final nine of last season, the Red Wings fell 10 shy of making the stretch last for the equivalent of a full season.

They were done in on special teams by a pair of short-handed goals and two power-play tallies. Detroit has allowed at least one on the power play in its last six, killing off just 69.6 percent of its penalties in that time.

"We do it to ourselves," Henrik Zetterberg said. "We've got to be better mentally. We can't give them those kind of chances, not against a team like this. It's self-inflicted, but we just have to move on."

That hasn't been difficult against the Oilers (18-37-11). The last time Detroit didn't escape with at least a point against Edmonton was Dec. 3, 2009, going 14-0-2 since with an average winning margin of 3.44-1.69.

Detroit's 4-2 win at Edmonton on Jan. 6 featured a goal and two assists from Justin Abdelkader and a goal and an assist from Pavel Datsyuk, who has eight points on a six-game streak in the series. Zetterberg added an assist and has 12 points on a nine-game streak.

Jimmy Howard was in goal and extended his series winning streak to 11 with a 1.43 goals-against average.

The Red Wings' No. 1 was unexpectedly called into action against Boston, replacing the injured Jonas Gustavsson after two periods. Coach Mike Babcock said after the game that Petr Mrazek will likely be recalled from AHL Grand Rapids.

The Oilers' latest skid reached 0-3-1 with Sunday's 7-4 loss in Carolina after they blew a 3-0 lead in just over six minutes during the second period.

In all, the Hurricanes scored six straight goals to double-up Edmonton in under 17 minutes. Three came on the power play and all but canceled out a 10-for-10 stretch on the penalty kill that the Oilers had posted in their previous four games.

"They started playing in our end and they started creating chances," Jordan Eberle told the team's official website. "They got one there, then we took a couple penalties and we couldn't seem to keep the puck out of our net on the PK."

If any positive surfaced, it was scoring more than two goals for the first time in seven games. Edmonton had seven combined over its previous six games.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had three goals and an assist, marking his second career hat trick and matching his career high of 19 goals set last season. However, he's never scored against Detroit and has just two assists in nine career games in the series.

Eberle added a goal and two assists and had two goals in the January meeting.

In net, Richard Bachman faced the Hurricanes and Ben Scrivens is expected to start against the Red Wings. Scrivens has posted a 2.19 GAA in his last five games but has just a 1-3-1 record to show for it. He's never faced Detroit.

Edmonton was without Benoit Pouliot due to illness against Carolina. The forward has a team-best nine goals while playing 19 of 25 games since the last meeting with Detroit.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NHL