With three wins in their last four home games, the Edmonton Oilers are feeling better about their play at Rexall Place.
It would be hard for the New York Islanders to feel any worse about their recent run on the road.
The woeful Islanders will look to avoid a 13th consecutive road loss when they continue their four-game trip on Monday in Edmonton, where the Oilers are trying to build on one of their best performances of the season.
Even for the team that is currently occupying the bottom spot in the NHL standings, New York's current road skid has been notable, with the club going 0-11-1 off of Long Island since a 4-3 shootout win in Montreal on Nov. 24.
The Islanders (12-24-4) have been outscored 55-27 during the slide, giving up five goals in each of their last three losses, including defeats in Phoenix and San Jose to open their current trip. If they lose Monday and at Calgary on Thursday, they would move within one loss of matching the franchise-worst 15-game road skid, set during the 1972-73 season.
New York fell behind quickly against the NHL-leading Sharks on Saturday, getting outshot 16-4 and outscored 2-0 in the first period of a 5-3 loss. Coach Scott Gordon's club battled back to within a goal late, but still fell to 2-12-2 overall since the beginning of December.
"There's no shame losing to that team. They controlled the puck and it's hard to get the puck from them," Gordon said. "On the plus side we were able to get more pucks to the net after the first period. The third period we played a lot better as compared to the first two, but again we came up short."
The Islanders were outshot 47-24 in the game, as goalie Joey MacDonald made 42 saves but lost for the 12th time in his last 13 starts. It's unclear if MacDonald or oft-injured veteran Rick DiPietro will be in net on Monday, after DiPietro returned from a groin injury in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Coyotes.
One of them will face an Edmonton (18-16-3) club coming off an impressive 4-1 win over Dallas on Saturday.
Dwayne Roloson made 38 saves, Sheldon Souray scored the game-winner and added an assist and Edmonton's penalty kill - ranked 28th at 74.4 percent - held Dallas without a goal in five power play chances.
"Everybody can feel good about that game," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We haven't had a lot of those this year where everybody walks away from the rink feeling good about themselves."
That's been especially true at home, where the Oilers started 4-5-3 and lost five straight at one point, but they've now won three of their last four at Rexall Place. Saturday's game was the first of five straight at home.
"This is a key stretch of games for us to start building something and put some wins together," forward Erik Cole said. "We need to come out every night and show the same kind of enthusiasm that we showed (Saturday)."
Cole, initially a disappointment after the Oilers acquired him in a trade this summer, appears to be heating up with three goals and three assists in his last four games.
Edmonton had lost six straight against the Islanders before the teams' most recent meeting, a 4-0 Oilers' home win on Jan. 7, 2008. Mathieu Garon made 35 saves, but Roloson could be in net Monday after going 7-2-1 with a 2.09 goals-against average in his last 10 starts.