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The Detroit Red Wings' high-scoring ways have propelled them to the top of the Western Conference, but they've had little offensive success on their road trip.
The league-leading Red Wings look to get back on track offensively and conclude their disappointing five-game trip with a victory when they meet the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Detroit (42-17-5) led the West by 17 points Feb. 5, but that advantage has been trimmed to six points over second-place Dallas. The Wings have gone 1-7-1 in their last nine games.
Detroit lost to Vancouver 4-1 on Saturday, one night after falling 1-0 at Calgary.
"Everything was fine until we turned the puck over to make it 3-1," coach Mike Babcock said. "And then, just by playing last night and being a little depleted anyway, we didn't have any energy to push. So that was the nail in the coffin."
The Wings, who lead the West with 200 goals, won 4-0 at Colorado on Feb. 18, but have managed only one goal in the other three games of the trip combined.
Henrik Zetterberg leads Detroit with 35 goals, but has just two goals - both against the Avalanche last week - in his last eight games. He has three goals and two assists in three games against Edmonton this season.
While the Wings are looking to regain their touch offensively, they made a desperately needed trade Tuesday to shore up their injury-ravaged defense corps. Detroit acquired defenseman Brad Stuart from Los Angeles for two draft picks just before the deadline.
"Brad adds depth and a level of abrasiveness to our blue line heading into the playoffs," Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. "He's a veteran player with playoff experience that will fit in well to our lineup."
Stuart, 28, had five goals and 16 assists for Los Angeles this season.
The Wings won their first two meetings of the season over the Oilers before suffering a 4-3 shootout loss at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 13.
Detroit won at Edmonton 2-1 on Oct. 30, but is just 3-5-3 with five ties in its last 16 games there. The Wings have not won two games in Edmonton in a single season since 1995-96.
The Oilers (28-30-5), meanwhile, have won a season-high four straight at home. They haven't posted five consecutive victories at Rexall Place since winning their first six there last season.
Despite his recent struggles, Detroit's Chris Osgood is expected to be back in net on Tuesday after he was given Saturday night off.
In his last six games, Osgood has equaled the same number of losses he suffered in his first 28 games of the season. The All-Star goalie is 1-5-0 with a 3.48 goals-against average since Feb. 7 after going 22-3-2 with a 1.84 GAA to start the season.
In his only start against the Oilers this season on Oct. 30, Osgood made 15 saves in the victory. He is 16-8-2 with four ties, four shutouts and a 2.24 GAA in his career against Edmonton.
The Oilers opened a five-game homestand with a 3-2 comeback win over Colorado on Sunday.
Edmonton was down 2-0 after the first period before getting second-period goals from Sam Gagner and Curtis Glencross. Andrew Cogliano then scored the winner 7:29 into the third.
"We could have faded away and let the game drift away but we came up with two big goals in the second," Cogliano said.
Gagner, a rookie, has three goals and nine assists during a nine-game point streak, the longest by an Oiler this season.
Mathieu Garon had 27 saves Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak. Garon has won his last four in Edmonton and is 8-2-0 with a 1.50 GAA and two shutouts there since Jan. 5.
Garon has not made a start against the Wings this season, however, as backup goalie Dwayne Roloson has been in net for each meeting. Roloson, who is 1-3-3 with a 3.15 GAA in his last nine games, is 7-13-1 with three ties, a 2.73 GAA and one shutout lifetime against Detroit.
The Oilers are 11 points back of the final playoff spot in the West.
|Feb 26 '08||DET 3 at EDM 4 - SO||R. Nilsson|
|Dec 13 '07||EDM 4 at DET 3 - SO||A. Hemsky|
|Oct 30 '07||DET 2 at EDM 1||V. Filppula|
|Oct 08 '07||EDM 2 at DET 4||T. Holmstrom|
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