Preview: Oilers at Red Wings
Following a fast start to the season in which they won their first five games, offense has become a problem for the Edmonton Oilers, especially away from home. The Oilers have dropped three of their last four overall and hope to get back on track when they visit the reeling Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game road trip.
Edmonton has been limited to two goals or fewer in four of its last five games, including a 2-1 victory over visiting Detroit on Oct. 18 and a 6-2 setback to Florida on Sunday for its first home loss. "We have to learn from this and just focus on the next game because we're still off to a good start and want to have that positive energy going in the group," defenseman Oscar Klefbom said. The wheels have come off early for the Red Wings, who have dropped eight in a row following a 3-1-0 start and lost five of those games by at least three goals. "We all believe in each other," center Dylan Larkin said after Sunday's 5-4 loss to defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis. "The talk in the room in the past little bit is it's gotta be the guys in here to turn this around and to get that win out of the way."
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet360, Sportsnet One (Edmonton), FS Detroit
ABOUT THE OILERS (8-3-1): Edmonton continually keeps putting itself in a hole by falling behind in nine of its 12 games and needing the duo of captain Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to spark a comeback. McDavid and Draisaitl have 21 points apiece while offseason acquisition James Neal has scored a team-high 10 goals, but production from the bottom-six forwards has been non-existent. “When we’re ahead in the game, those guys are doing their jobs," coach Dave Tippett said. "When we’re chasing the game, it’s hard for them to contribute as much as they want."
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (3-8-1): In an effort to add some spark to the offense, Detroit made a trade with Chicago on Monday to acquire left wing Brendan Perlini, who had fallen out of favor in his second season with the Blackhawks. A former first-round pick of Arizona in 2014, Perlini was a healthy scratch in all but one contest this season after scoring 12 goals in 46 games for Chicago in 2018-19. The Red Wings shipped minor-league defenseman Alec Regula to Chicago for Perlini, who scored 14 goals as a rookie and notched 17 tallies and 30 points in 2017-18.
1. McDavid has two goals and nine points in eight meetings versus Detroit.
2. Red Wings F Adam Erne, sidelined the past four games, could return to the lineup Tuesday.
3. Edmonton is ranked No. 1 on the power play (33.3 percent) while Detroit is 29th on the penalty kill (69.2).
PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Red Wings 2