Struggling Oilers take road trip to Motown

11:34 AM, Mar 7, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers have managed just one victory so far on their nine-game road trip and trying to pick up win No. 2 won't be an easy task on Thursday night.

That's because the Oilers are set to visit Detroit, where they haven't beaten the Red Wings in over three years.

Edmonton has managed just a 1-2-2 record through the first five games of its longest swing of the season and lost a third straight on Tuesday night with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Oilers did manage to earn a point just two days after giving up three third-period goals in a 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild as Jeff Petry, Ryan Whitney and Magnus Paajarvi all scored in Columbus.

Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves through overtime, but gave up two goals in the shootout while Edmonton had both of its attempts stopped.

"We played a much better game than we did in Minnesota," said Edmonton head coach Ralph Krueger. "There was a lot of good things but the result is disappointing. We let go of a couple of leads and that's upsetting."

The Oilers were set to travel to Detroit after the game, but a snowstorm kept them in Columbus until finally arriving in Motown on Wednesday afternoon.

Edmonton will hope the delay in travel won't hinder it picking up its first victory in Detroit since Dec. 3, 2009. The Oilers have lost six in a row to the Red Wings as the guest and nine of the past 10 meetings overall.

Detroit won a 2-1 decision over Edmonton at home on Feb. 9, getting the winner from Niklas Kronwall in the third period and 23 saves from Jimmy Howard.

Kronwall picked up another game-winner on Tuesday in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, though this one was a bit of a fluke as the defenseman sent a point shot wide that caromed off the boards and off Avs goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere with 2:28 to play in the second period.

Johan Franzen also scored and Howard made 15 of his 36 saves in the third period. However, he had his shutout bid spoiled with 1:30 to go.

"We have to get better for sure," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "This was too loose of a game for us and if we want to win on a nightly basis we have to do better in front of our goalie."

The Red Wings improved to 4-1-1 in their last six overall.

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