Edmonton Vs. Detroit
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In recent weeks, the Detroit Red Wings have fared better away from home ice than on it.
The Edmonton Oilers have struggled to win no matter where they’ve played.
The Red Wings look for a season-high fourth straight road victory Tuesday night when they face the Oilers, who will try to avoid a season-worst seventh consecutive defeat.
Detroit (24-10-5) started 4-3-0 on the road but has gone 7-2-1 away from home since.
“We played well when we had our (trip) after Christmas,” captain Nicklas Lidstrom said of the Wings sweeping three road games after the break. “We played real well defensively. That’s something you have to do on the road now.”
Detroit hasn’t been nearly as good at home recently, going 3-4-2 in its last nine. The Red Wings have lost two straight, both at Joe Louis Arena, as they fell 4-3 in overtime to the New York Islanders on Friday and 3-2 to Philadelphia on Sunday.
Valtteri Filppula and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the third period against the Flyers, but Detroit gave up three goals in the second.
“We were a little sloppy in our passing game. I think we gave them a few too many chances,” Zetterberg said. “I think we gave it a good chance in the end, but it’s tough to be down 3-0.”
The Central Division leaders appear to be opening a season high-tying five-game trip at the right time, especially with Edmonton (12-18-7) up first.
The Red Wings have taken both meetings with the Western Conference-worst Oilers this season, winning 3-1 at Rexall Place on Nov. 5. Filppula scored the tiebreaking goal to help his team end a two-game slide in Edmonton.
Detroit, 4-0-4 in its last eight at Rexall, has won three straight overall against the Oilers and has posted a 9-1-4 mark in the last 14 meetings.
The Red Wings would seem to have a good chance to continue that success with the Oilers mired in an 0-4-2 slump. Edmonton, 1-6-2 in its last nine, is 0-2-1 on its five-game homestand.
The Oilers fell 2-1 to Calgary on Saturday. Ryan Jones scored for Edmonton, which was outshot 30-17 and drew the ire of Tom Renney over what the coach saw as lack of effort.
“Some of it was done by the people that need to,” Renney said, “but others didn’t make it to the rink. We need these people desperately if we are going to have any kind of success. I’m hoping they understand who they are.”
The Red Wings haven’t won four straight on the road since a five-game run March 3-20, 2009, but won’t have Danny Cleary for another three weeks due to a broken left ankle. Cleary has a team-best three goals and two assists against the Oilers this season, scoring twice in a 6-2 home win Nov. 11.
Zetterberg and Lidstrom will look to extend seven-game point streaks. Both players have four goals and seven assists during their runs.
A seventh consecutive defeat would give the Oilers their longest slide since dropping a season-worst 13 in a row Dec. 31, 2009-Jan. 18, 2010.
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