With a new coach, Todd Nelson, and a number of new players in the lineup, Edmonton (9-23-9) is going into its game against Chicago (27-12-2) on Friday with a different mindset.
"I don't think it matters, we've moved on from there," Nelson said. "We do have some new faces and it's a new group, so it's a fresh start for us."
The Oilers have earned at least a point in four of their past five games (2-1-2) since Nelson took over exclusively, replacing Dallas Eakins.
Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson has earned six points (2-0-2) in four games since taking over exclusively. Edmonton (9-22-9) has not won consecutive games since Nov. 9, defeating the New York Rangers 3-1 following a 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres two nights earlier.
"I think we're getting a little more confidence in the new systems that have been put in place," Oilers left wing Matt Hendricks said. "The energy has to stay where it's at; the energy has been great and the accountability within the room has gotten better. I think everyone is towing the rope in terms of what the coach is expecting from us and everybody has raised their game right now, but we need to keep improving."
Edmonton (8-22-9) has two wins in its past 24 games, and are looking to avoid a three-game losing streak.
“The games I’ve watched they haven’t struggled,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “They played very well [Friday] night; they beat L.A. here in this rink. They’ve made some changes, they’ve got a couple of veterans now, they sent some young guys back; their goaltending is good.
“I don’t look at records. That’s the last thing I do. I look at their work ethic, I look at the structure of their hockey team, I look at their personnel, I look at their captain, [Andrew] Ference on the back end, who’s won a championship, and understand what it takes. You have to be your best every single night and we just have to worry about how we have to play.”
EDMONTON -- Forwards Derek Roy and Matt Fraser will make their Edmonton Oilers debuts Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings, and interim coach Todd Nelson will take sole responsibility behind the bench.
Roy and Fraser were acquired by Edmonton (7-22-7) on Monday and skated with their new teammates for the first time Tuesday at the morning skate. The Kings (18-12-7) did not skate Tuesday after losing 2-1 at the Calgary Flames on Monday.
MacTavish stepped away from the bench after five games (0-3-2) and is expected to go to Montreal to take in the remainder of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The Coyotes (11-18-4) have won all four games against the Oilers (7-20-7) going into the finale of the season series. Arizona has earned at least a point against Edmonton in their past 17 games (14-0-3).
"I think they just kind of wait for us to make mistakes and we've kind of killed ourselves in a lot of the games," Oilers right wing Jordan Eberle said. "Tonight will hopefully be a different story. I like to think we're playing a bit of a smarter game right now. We've addressed the way we need to play with our new coach, with a little bit of energy. I'm excited tonight. The last game before Christmas, where you get a few days off, you really want to try and get a win and feel good about yourself."
Nelson took over for Dallas Eakins, who was fired Monday by Edmonton, 113 games into a four-year contract. Nelson was promoted from the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City for the remainder of the season. General manager Craig MacTavish has temporarily assumed a coaching role to help with the transition.
The Oilers have one win in their past 15 games. They are on a three-game losing streak, including a 4-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday after they fell behind 3-0.
"We're looking for a good start here and we've put a little research into our starts trying to see what it is," Oilers coach Dallas Eakins said. "I've spoken about execution. It's the execution of the start. Over the last 15 games where we've struggled mightily, we've had 49 percent of the shots on net in the first period, and you would assume that we would get our share of the goals. But we're getting 18 percent of the goals, and that goes to execution.
"It goes to being ready to put that puck in the net or being ready for that chance, so those numbers don't match up. We need execution on the start; we're getting the action we need 5-on-5."
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers continue to have difficulty scoring.
Edmonton's inability to score more than two goals per game is a contributing factor in its struggles during the past month. The Oilers host the Anaheim Ducks at Rexall Place on Friday.
The Oilers (7-17-5) have lost two in a row and 13 of their past 14 games. They were unable to score more than two goals in 10 of those defeats, including a 2-1 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday.
"We definitely have a lot of skilled forwards in here that can put the puck in the net and we just have to find a way to be consistent in that," Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "We've been shooting the puck a lot this season. I think we get a lot of first shots, but I think we have to find those second and third shots and we'll have more success."
The Sharks took the morning off after defeating the Calgary Flames 3-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.
Despite having three days between games, the Oilers decided to follow suit.
The fans love it, and it looked like they were having fun. It was great to see this city [Columbus]. They had been waiting a couple years for this game. They did it right.