Oilers-Red Wings Preview

The Associated Press

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.

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