The Edmonton Oilers were one of the last teams in the league to lose a game, but very little has gone right since their fast start.
The Oilers look to get out of their funk and avoid losing their fifth straight game at Rexall Place when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
Edmonton (9-9-2) opened the 2008-09 season with four straight wins before losing 3-0 to Chicago on Oct. 22. Minnesota became the NHL's last team to suffer a loss one night later.
The Oilers' fast start has been wasted, however, as they've gone just 5-9-2 since and now own the fifth-worst record in the Western Conference.
Edmonton lost for the fourth time in five games with Thursday's 4-3 setback to Detroit, prompting coach Craig MacTavish to keep the dressing room closed for 15 minutes after the game.
"There's not enough personal commitment collectively to battle," MacTavish said. "Whether you are a small guy, medium guy, young guy, experienced guy, you have to battle. You have to get in there. We're not competing hard enough collectively, especially in our own building. We haven't played a good game in our building yet. We have to come out and start taking charge in our building otherwise it is no advantage."
After opening the season with consecutive wins at Rexall Place, the Oilers have dropped their last four games there. They have not lost five straight home games since an eight-game home slide Feb. 27-March 21, 2007.
Penalty killing has been a major problem for Edmonton, which allowed the Red Wings to convert 3 of 5 power-play opportunities Thursday. The Oilers are second-worst in the league at penalty killing (73.9 percent), and have stopped just 6 of 13 of their opponents' power-play chances in their last three home games.
Goaltender Dwayne Roloson was pulled 10 minutes into Thursday's game after allowing three goals on 10 shots. Mathieu Garon replaced him and stopped 24 of 25 shots, but was saddled with his fifth straight loss.
Garon may get the start Wednesday, as he's 3-1-0 with a 2.95 goals-against average against the Kings (8-9-3) since 2003-04. Roloson is 2-2-0 with a 2.76 GAA and one shutout versus Los Angeles since 2005-06. The Oilers went 2-2-0 against the Kings last season.
Los Angeles has dropped four of its last five games, including a 6-2 loss to Calgary on Tuesday.
"You want to get your legs early when you're playing on the road and we didn't get them all game," Wayne Simmonds said.
The Kings hope center Anze Kopitar, who scored his fourth goal of the season Tuesday, is finally starting to find his rhythm. Kopitar has two goals in his last three games after scoring just two in his first 17. He ranked second on Los Angeles with 32 goals last season, including three in four games against the Oilers.
Goalie Erik Ersberg made his 10th consecutive start Tuesday, but gave up four goals on 18 shots and was pulled midway through the second period.
Jason LaBarbera replaced Ersberg and made 15 saves over the final 30 minutes. LaBarbera has posted a 1.00 GAA in winning three career starts versus the Oilers, while Ersberg has never faced them.