Oilers try to snap skid vs. Red Wings
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers try to avoid their second five-game losing streak already on the young season as they play host on Saturday night to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Oilers have lost three times in regulation during their current slide, including Tuesday's 4-0 setback to visiting Toronto. The Maple Leafs got 43 saves from James Reimer, dropping Edmonton to 1-4-0 at home this season.
With Devan Dubnyk out for a second straight game due to an ankle injury, Richard Bachman got another start. He made 47 saves in last Sunday's shootout defeat to the Los Angeles Kings, but yielded four goals on 26 shots on Tuesday.
"We got out-finished," Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said. "We gave them three absolute gifts."
Dubnyk was able to skate with Edmonton on Thursday and could get the start tonight. He is 2-1-2 with a 2.47 goals against average in five career meetings with the Red Wings.
While Edmonton could get its No. 1 netminder back, defenseman Justin Schultz is questionable due to an undisclosed injury, while David Perron's status is also in doubt due to pain in his neck and back.
Perron did not play on Tuesday due to illness, but was unable to return to practice due to his latest issue and was set to undergo an MRI. He has two goals and nine points in 13 games this season.
The Red Wings have followed up an 0-2-2 skid by winning the first two contests of a four-game tour through Western Canada. They began the trip with a win in Vancouver and then bested the Calgary Flames 4-3 last night.
Detroit rebounded after blowing a two-goal lead, getting the winner from Justin Abdelkader as well as goals by Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg. Jimmy Howard made 22 saves.
"We all worked hard out there tonight," said Howard. "It was nice to get this win since we have another one tomorrow against another tough team."
Howard will get the night off on Saturday and with backup Jonas Gustavsson out with a strained neck, Petr Mrazek will make his first start of the season with the Red Wings and third of his career.
The 21-year-old went 1-1-0 in two games during February of last season, allowing four goals on 51 shots.
Johan Franzen could sit out tonight for Detroit. He missed the Vancouver victory with an undisclosed injury, then left after just one shift last night because of illness.
The Red Wings have won four straight and 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Oilers, claiming all three matchups last season. They have won four of their past five in Edmonton, including a 3-2 overtime victory on March 15.
11/02 11:11:41 ET