While it's uncertain when veteran Ilya Bryzgalov will be ready to help the Edmonton Oilers in net, their current focus must be on finding a way to score at home.
Looking to avoid a fifth consecutive home loss overall and to the Dallas Stars, the Oilers try to keep from being shut out in three straight games there for the first time ever Wednesday night.
With the goaltending trio of Devan Dubnyk, Jason LaBarbera and Richard Bachman, Edmonton (4-13-2) has allowed a league-worst 3.95 goals per contest and yielded 13 while losing the final three of a four-game road trip. Though the Oilers signed Bryzgalov to a one-year deal Friday, he's expected to first spend time with the team's AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.
For now, Edmonton must try to turn things around at home, where it has been outscored 17-2 in the last four games and held without a goal over the last six periods. The Oilers are 2-11-0 at home since April 1.
They haven't played in Edmonton since being loudly booed after a 5-0 loss to Detroit on Nov. 2.
"If we're going to play like that, that's what you're going to get," coach Dallas Eakins told the Oilers' official website. "It's pro sports. The fans are allowed to express their displeasure and it's the only way they can."
The Oilers did record 12 goals on the recent trip, which could instill some confidence heading home.
"I thought we competed," forward Sam Gagner said after Sunday's 5-4 loss at Chicago. "That's a big thing for us. We need to ensure we have that level of compete every night. We can't roll over. We have to continue to move forward."
Though the Oilers snapped an 0-5-1 slide to the Stars (8-7-2) with a 5-1 victory at Dallas on Feb. 28 in the teams' last meeting, Edmonton has been outscored 13-5 during an 0-3-1 home skid in the series.
On a trip to Ottawa, Boston and Detroit last week, the Stars posted a pair of shootout wins before a 4-3 overtime victory over the Red Wings. However, they returned home Saturday and fell 5-2 to Chicago.
Coach Lindy Ruff was planning to potentially make some line changes following that defeat, and now it appears to be a certainty after winger Ray Whitney went on injured reserve Tuesday with a lower-body injury. His spot will be filled by call-up Travis Morin, who leads the AHL with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists).
"Going on the road, even going on this last road trip, we tried to balance the lines out, and hope for a little depth of scoring," Ruff told the Stars' official website.
Ruff hopes for a better effort from a power play that is 2 for 29 over the last nine games. Dallas went 0 for 6 on Saturday, though its first goal came as time expired on one of those chances.
"We had some good opportunities we didn't convert," Ruff said. "We got some good looks that could have been a game-changer."
Jamie Benn has two goals and an assist in the last three games, and he has eight points in seven career games at Edmonton.
Teammate Kari Lehtonen is 5-1-0 with a 2.24 goals-against average on the road this season and has a 1.24 GAA during the four-game win streak at Edmonton.
The Oilers' Taylor Hall has two goals and two assists in three games since missing seven with a knee injury. He has two of each in his last five against the Stars.