A rare road loss in their last game kept the Detroit Red Wings from moving back into the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Red Wings have another chance to get there Tuesday night when they conclude a three-game trip by trying to sweep the season series from the Edmonton Oilers.
Detroit (48-16-9) had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 loss on Monday at Calgary. The result also ended the Red Wings’ road winning streak at five, and kept them one point behind San Jose for first place in the West.
The Red Wings and Sharks continue to go back and forth for the top spot in the West and home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs. After this contest, Detroit plays just two of its final eight games on the road where it is 22-11-5 this season.
Despite their latest setback, the Red Wings could still be in good shape to bounce back. Though the Oilers (35-28-9) are seventh in the West, they have been outscored 16-6 in three losses to Detroit this season.
Detroit, which hasn’t swept a season series from Edmonton since 1995-96, won 8-3 at home on Feb. 7 in the last meeting between the teams who could possibly face off in the first round of the playoffs.
Marian Hossa had a goal and assist and Niklas Kronwall added three assists for the Red Wings in that contest. Kronwall had two assists and Hossa one while Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk scored in the loss to Calgary.
Kronwall has one goal and four assists in two games against the Oilers this season. Datsyuk, meanwhile, looks to extend his point streak to nine games after recording a goal in his third straight contest Monday.
Datsyuk is one goal shy of matching his career high of 31 from last season, and has two and one assist versus Edmonton in 2008-09.
Chris Osgood was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots against the Flames.
“You just move on and play the next game,” Osgood said.
Though he had started the last five games for Detroit, Osgood is likely to give way to Ty Conklin in this contest.
Conklin made 11 saves and allowed a goal in relief of Osgood to fall to 24-9-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average. A former Oiler, Conklin is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA against Edmonton this season, and made 21 saves in a 4-0 victory on Nov. 17.
The Oilers had their three-game winning streak snapped in a 3-0 loss at Minnesota on Sunday to conclude a three-game road trip.
Edmonton outshot the Wild 15-2 in the first period and finished with 31 shots, but was stymied by All-Star Niklas Backstrom after combining for 13 goals in its previous two games.
“You hate to see the 30-plus shot shutouts. That means you’re getting pucks to the net,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “If you’re committed enough there you should be able to get some offense.”
Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves, but has allowed seven goals in his last two contests. He is 26-18-9 with a 2.75 GAA in 2008-09—but 0-2-0 with an 8.01 GAA against Detroit.
Edmonton’s Sam Gagner scored four goals in his previous two games prior to Sunday, but has been held scoreless against the Red Wings this season.