DETROIT, MI - Is there a better place to rev the engine than in the Motor City?
After stalling out at home in a 6-2 affair against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, the Oilers will look to hit the gas pedal on the road Tuesday night when they line up with the Detroit Red Wings, who have struggled as of late with just a single point in their past eight contests.
Edmonton, who defeated the Red Wings by a score of 2-1 on Oct. 18, enters Little Caesars Arena with a 3-2-1 road record and 2-2-1 showing in their last five. The club is cognizant of the desperation on the other side but is driven to recalibrate their own game.
"I understand they're a desperate team," said Tippett of the Red Wings. "But we haven't played very well in two of the last three. We have to get our game in order, so that's what we're concentrating on today."
BALANCING THE ATTACK
In an attempt to provide better balance throughout the lineup and generate more offence, Oilers Head Coach Tippett shuffled up his lines Tuesday at morning skate.
Jujhar Khaira was on the left side of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with Sam Gagner to the right and Gaëtan Haas - who was recalled on Saturday after a stint with the American Hockey League's Bakersfield Condors - was in the pivot position between James Neal and Alex Chiasson.
Riley Sheahan, meanwhile, played middleman between Tomas Jurco and Patrick Russell.
"The bottom end of our lineup hasn't been very productive," Tippett said.
"They've had a few chances, not as many as you'd like, but there's always more there. It's not from lack of effort or lack of trying. There's some execution stuff that just needs to be a little better. If we can balance some of the skill, maybe it can help some of them out."
Both Gagner and Khaira have previous experience playing with Nugent-Hopkins. With their assortment of speed, skill and size, the trio hopes to break out and provide some relief for the top line of Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian.
"We need to find a way to create some offence," Gagner, who had two goals and two assists in four games with the Condors, said.
"At some point, we got to get some results. I think that you look at the way the lines are set up, there's an opportunity for some guys to get some chemistry and try to build something."
As for Haas, he'll have an opportunity alongside the shooting ability of Neal and the forecheck of Chiasson.
"I have to show up," Haas said.
The Swiss centre was assigned to the Condors last week to get better acclimated with the North American game. In his two matches played, Haas registered one assist but saw plenty of ice.
"Right away when Ken (Holland) and Tipp told me I was going to go down for a couple of games and play more, I was not disappointed," Haas said.
"I took out a positive, knew there was a good team down there and I was happy to go and get a little more ice time."
Tuesday's puck drop will mark the 300th game of McDavid's National Hockey League career, with the 2015 first-overall selection compiling 393 points in 299 outings over his five seasons in the League.
No. 97's 393 points (134G, 259A) puts him in a tie for 11th all-time in NHL history through a player's first 300 games - and one point tonight will place him ahead of Dale Hawerchuk and Teemu Selanne in that regard.
"I didn't even know it was 300 tonight," McDavid told the media. "It feels like yesterday I was playing my first."
McDavid trails only Sidney Crosby in most points through the first 300 games among active skaters. Crosby had 407 through his first 300.
With Haas entering the lineup, Markus Granlund will be a healthy scratch.
In goal, Mikko Koskinen will look to build on his 5-0-0 start. He is sporting a 2.46 goals-against average and .922 save percentage this year.
Lines at morning skate appeared to be:
Draisaitl - McDavid - Kassian
Khaira - Nugent-Hopkins - Gagner
Neal - Haas - Chiasson
Jurco - Sheahan - P. Russell
Nurse - Bear
Klefbom - Russell
Manning - Benning
-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com
OILERS (8-3-1) vs. RED WINGS (3-8-1)
TV: 5:30 p.m. MDT; Televised on Sportsnet 360 & One
This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Oilers and Red Wings.
Edmonton beat Detroit by a score of 2-1 earlier in the month, with defenceman Ethan Bear's second goal of the campaign standing as the game-winner.
Oilers team scope:
The Oilers were dealt a 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday, in a game that saw Edmonton cede three goals against in the opening 2:05 of the second period.
Edmonton is 2-2-1 in their last five outings, 6-3-1 in their last 10 and 3-2-1 on the road this season. The club sits first in the Pacific Division with 17 points and an 8-3-1 record.
Connor McDavid has one goal and three assists in his last two contests, sharing the team lead in points on the Oilers alongside Leon Draisaitl with 21 each. They sit in a tie for second in the League in scoring, trailing Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak, who has 23.
Red Wings team scope:
The Red Wings got edged in overtime against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, losing a 5-4 OT decision to the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Despite the loss, Detroit picked up their first point in their last eight games.
The Red Wings are 3-8-1 on the year and 1-8-1 in their last 10. The club is 1-4-1 at Little Caesars Arena this season and owns a minus-18 goal differential.
Anthony Mantha leads the Red Wings in goals and points with seven and 12, respectively.
By the Numbers:
Since going 10-for-22 on the power play in the first seven games of the '19-20 schedule - converting at a scorching 45.5 percent rate - the Oilers have gone 1-for-11 in their last five games. ... The club still sits tied for first on the power play with a 33.3 percentage. ... Edmonton is fifth in the League on the penalty kill with an 86.5 percentage. ... Leon Draisaitl has the second-most goals since the start of last season with 59, trailing Alex Ovechkin by one.
The Red Wings own a minus-21 goal differential in their last eight outings, being outscored 34-13. ... Over that time, they have a 12 percent power play (3-for-25) and a 65 percent penalty kill. ... Detroit is 22-7-3 in their last 32 matches against the Oilers, outscoring the club 107-72. ... That is the club's best record against any single opponent since '08-09.
OILERS - Joel Persson (concussion) is day-to-day; Adam Larsson (fibula) is on IR; Josh Archibald (foot fracture) is on IR; Joakim Nygard (ribs) is on IR.
RED WINGS - Danny DeKeyser (undisclosed) is day-to-day; Justin Abdelkader (lower body) is day-to-day; Luke Glendening (hand) is on IR; Johan Franzen (concussion-like symptoms) is on IR; Adam Erne (undisclosed) is day-to-day.