Oilers-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings’ current home winning streak is the
league’s longest in nearly 36 years.
They have a strong chance of continuing that run Wednesday night
against an Edmonton Oilers team that has lost seven straight on the
Detroit hasn’t lost at Joe Louis Arena since a 4-1 defeat to
Calgary on Nov. 3, outscoring opponents 72-24 while winning 17
straight for the fourth-longest home win streak in NHL history. The
team is 20-2-1 on home ice after going 21-14-6 last season.
The Red Wings (35-17-2) are three shy of matching the league
record of 20 straight home wins, set by Boston in the 1929-30
season and matched by Philadelphia from Jan. 4-April 3, 1976. The
Bruins also had a 19-game run in 1970-71.
Detroit appears to have a good shot at getting closer to the
record against Edmonton, which has lost its last four games at
Detroit and fell 3-0 on Nov. 11 in its only visit this season. The
Wings are 20-2-4 in the last 26 regular-season meetings at Joe
While Detroit is entering a six-game homestand atop the Western
Conference, the Oilers have the league’s second-worst record and no
team has been worse on the road (6-19-2). The Red Wings have earned
at least one point in 37 of the last 39 overall regular-season
However, Edmonton won 5-4 in a shootout Saturday to end a
seven-game losing streak in the series. Detroit held a 4-3 lead
before Jordan Eberle’s second goal with 39 seconds left in
regulation tied the game.
The Red Wings went on to lose 3-1 in Phoenix on Monday to cap a
2-2-1 road swing. The only time this season they lost more than two
straight was a six-game slide Oct. 22-Nov. 3.
“It’s been a long road trip for the guys and I think as the game
went on, we got our wheels underneath us,” said Joey MacDonald, who
made 20 saves in his first start of the season in place of the
injured Jimmy Howard.
With Howard (broken finger) likely still out, it’s unclear if
MacDonald or Ty Conklin will start. While Conklin has given up six
goals on 22 shots in his last two appearances, MacDonald has
allowed three on 45 shots in two games since being recalled from
The Oilers (21-27-5) have had plenty of problems in net,
allowing a league-worst 3.47 goals per game since Christmas.
Edmonton put together a 4-0-1 stretch before losing 6-3 at
Toronto on Monday despite two more goals from Eberle, who has
scored six times and has three assists during a four-game point
Sam Gagner also has a four-game streak after having an assist
Monday. He had two goals and an assist plus a goal in the shootout
Saturday, two days after his eight-point night versus Chicago.
The Oilers played Monday without coach Tom Renney while he
received treatment for a concussion after being hit with a puck
during the pregame skate. Associate coach Ralph Krueger took over,
and it’s unclear if Renney will return to the bench Wednesday.
“It wasn’t different at all,” Eberle said. “They manage the
bench the same way. They’re both good coaches. They’re smart and
Edmonton received bad news Tuesday, however, learning Ryan
Nugent-Hopkins will be out 7-10 days with a sprained left shoulder.
The rookie, who scored the shootout winner against Detroit, had
played only two games since injuring the same shoulder in a 4-3
victory at Chicago on Jan. 2.
That’s the only victory in the past 15 road games for Edmonton,
which has been outshot in every contest during its current
seven-game road losing streak.