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Oilers and Red Wings meet at the Joe

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers continue their five-game road swing tonight as they attempt to put an end to a three-game winless slide against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings are a lot more confidence bunch than they were last time these two teams met on October 21. On that night, Edmonton defeated Detroit 3-1 and the Red Wings saw their record fall to 3-4-1.

Since that loss, the Wings have won six consecutive games and are now one of the hottest teams in the league.

The Oilers, meanwhile, have gone in the other direction. They were 5-2-0 after beating Detroit. They won their next game against Phoenix but have have only one win in six tries since the Coyotes victory.

OILERS TO WATCH: The team's best line last night was the fourth unit of Toby Petersen, Brad Winchester and Marty Reasoner. Winchester scored his first NHL regular season goal, Petersen logged a season-high 15:43 of ice time - sixth among Oilers forwards - and Reasoner had an assist. Jussi Markkanen may get the start tonight. He took part in the optional pre-game skate this morning while Dwayne Roloson did not.

RED WINGS TO WATCH: Detroit's offence this season has come primarily from their defence. Nicklas Lidstrom is the team's leading scorer with 12 points through 14 games and Mathieu Schneider is third on the team with nine points (four goals, five assists)... Dominik Hasek is rounding back into his Dominator form. He has a 2.09 goals-against average and 6-3-0 record.

ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton - Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out; Detroit - After suffering through a spell of injuries through October, the Wings are now healthy.

LAST MEETING: Third period breakaway goals by Petr Sykora and Joffrey Lupul broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the Oilers to a 3-1 win over Detroit in the second game of a three-game homestand. Dwayne Roloson made 26 saves, including 12 in the third period when Edmonton was outshot 14-7 by the Red Wings, for his fourth win of the season.

FAST FACTS: Detroit has only been outshot in two of their 14 games so far this season... The Oilers' best period by far has been their third in terms of goals for with 19. They only have 13 goals in period one and eight goals in period two. Oddly enough, the Oilers have the fewest amount of shots in period three at 117... Detroit has been consistent through all three periods, scoring 12, 12 and 14 in the three periods respectively... The normally potent Red Wings power play has struggled this season at 9.3% - ranked 28th in the league. The penalty kill hasn't been much better at 25th in the NHL at 78.8%... The Oilers have the league's 3rd best penalty kill on the road at 93.8%.

NEXT UP: The Oilers travel to Columbus and meet the Blue Jackets Friday night for the third game of this five-game jaunt.
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