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

road.

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

Louis Arena.

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

matchups.

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 AHL.

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

streak.

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

intelligent.”

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.