The Detroit Red Wings hope a late collapse in their last game does not spark a losing streak as they prepare to host the reeling Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The Red Wings earned at least one point for the fourth straight contest (2-0-2) despite giving up two goals in the final 6:15 of regulation and another in overtime in a 4-3 home loss to Colorado on Sunday.
“This league is relentless, and if you let up a second, you will fall behind so fast, you won’t know what happened to you,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told the Detroit News. “I said to our guys today, ‘We were OK on Sunday.’ …. OK is not good enough. If we’re that, we’re going to look up two weeks from now and, all of a sudden, we’re not going to be where we want to be.” The Red Wings are 4-2-3 in their new arena and hope to take advantage of the Oilers, who have dropped five of six (1-4-1) after suffering an embarrassing 8-3 defeat at St. Louis on Tuesday. Edmonton has given up 18 goals in its last three games and goaltender Cam Talbot was pulled Tuesday after allowing two tallies on three shots. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid notched an assist against the Blues for his seventh point in four games, but the Oilers have scored more than three goals just once in their last nine contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE OILERS (7-12-2): McDavid continues to improve his offensive numbers (10 goals, 26 points), but Edmonton has struggled to find the right linemates for its captain. Leon Draisaitl, who has spent time on McDavid’s wing, snapped a five-game goal-scoring drought Tuesday with one tally and an assist while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up a pair of tallies to give him five points in his last four contests. Backup Laurent Brossoit was expected to get the start in net Wednesday, but with Talbot’s early exit against St. Louis, coach Todd McLellan could make a change.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (10-8-3): Dylan Larkin has taken over the team scoring lead with 20 points - one better than Anthony Mantha - after notching a pair of goals and three assists over his last three games. Mantha leads the way with 10 goals and defenseman Mike Green has matched Larkin with 16 assists through 21 contests, while both have been key to an improving power play by registering a total of 14 points. Jimmy Howard (8-5-2, 2.34 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) is expected to be in net against Edmonton after earning at least one point in five consecutive contests (3-0-2).
1. The Red Wings blanked Edmonton 4-0 on Nov. 5 after the Oilers had gone 3-0-1 in the previous four meetings.
2. Detroit RW Martin Frk, who recorded a goal and an assist in the first meeting, is questionable for Wednesday due to a groin injury.
3. Edmonton failed on its only chance with the man advantage Tuesday but is 5-for-10 on the power play over its last four contests.
PREDICTION: Oilers 5, Red Wings 3