The road has been unkind to the Ottawa Senators for nearly two months. It doesn't appear to get much better Tuesday when their eight-game trip continues at Edmonton, where the Oilers will try to match a season high with their fourth consecutive victory.
The Senators (12-17-5) have gone 0-10-2 outside Ottawa since a 2-1 victory at Florida on Oct. 30. Their three victories and eight points from all road games are the fewest in the NHL, and Ottawa is currently mired in its worst road losing streak since dropping an NHL-record 38 straight in its inaugural 1992-93 season.
Ottawa has yet to record a point through three games on the road trip following Sunday's 3-0 loss at Vancouver. The Senators, who will be on the road until mid-January while the world junior championship is played at Scotiabank Place, were outshot 17-5 in the first period as they were shut out for the third time this season - all on the road.
"We've got to be ready. We came out and made some mistakes and before we knew it we were down," Senators center Mike Fisher said. "It's frustrating. There's no question. But we have to stick with it as a group and find a way to get wins."
The Senators - last in the NHL with 80 goals - have been porous defensively, giving up 28 in their last six games. About the only positive they carry into this game is their penalty kill, which has not allowed a goal in 11 opportunities over the last two games.
As the Senators try to solve their road woes, the Oilers (17-14-3) enter this game trying to equal their longest winning streak of the season, which was established with their 4-0 start. Coach Craig MacTavish was pleased with the effort in Edmonton's last game, a 5-2 victory over Nashville on Sunday that also ended a nine-game losing streak to the Predators.
"There were a lot of things about tonight that were the things we anticipated seeing at the beginning of the year," MacTavish said. "There was lots of skill, lots of puck movement. We only got the one goal on the power play, but we were very effective on it. It was one of our better efforts of the year.
"That's the type of game that we thought we would see more of. It's taken a considerable amount of time but we are starting to move in a positive direction in terms of the way we are playing."
The Oilers have scored at least one power-play goal in six straight games, going 8-for-37 with the man advantage. Defenseman Sheldon Souray scored a power-play goal for the third straight game, and seven of his team-high 11 tallies have come with Edmonton up a man.
Goaltender Dwayne Roloson also has played well during the winning streak, turning aside 81 of 87 shots in the three victories. But his last game against the Senators was a forgetful one, giving up six goals in a 6-1 loss while playing for the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 16, 2006.
The teams have not played since Ottawa won 4-3 in a shootout on Feb. 20, 2007.