The Oilers are currently on game six of their nine-game road trip, and have another back-to-back as they face Detroit and Nashville tonight and tomorrow.
They have gone 1-2-2 on the trip and have certainly missed out on some available points — not the least of which was their last game, a shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets where they were given countless opportunities, especially in overtime, to put the Jackets away.
The Oilers currently sit 13th in the Western Conference with 21 points, only three points out of a playoff spot, but trending in the wrong direction.
Their task does not get any easier tonight facing the Red Wings, who sit sixth in the West, and are coming off a win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Both teams will be without some key pieces as the Oilers will continue to miss Shawn Horcoff, as well as Nikolai Khabibulin, Teemu Hartikainen and Mark Fistric.
The Red Wings will be without Valtteri Filppula, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson, as well as Darren Helm and Carlo Colaiacovo, who have been out since January.
Jimmy Howard will be back in net after his impressive 37-save performance against the Avalanche and with the injury to Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk will likely go again for the Oilers as they need all the help they can get.
February 9, 2013: Detroit had a 2-1 victory at home on a Niklas Kronwall third period goal.