EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers conclude their five-game homestand (2-2-0) with a matinee match against the Detroit Red Wings Sunday.
Edmonton snapped their two-game losing slide Friday with a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. The club doled 47 hits, scored on their only power play, possessed the puck 67 percent of the time off the draw and stayed out of the penalty box.
"We had some good zone time, we got pucks to the net, we played fast and we were physical," said Oilers winger Zack Kassian, who had three shots on goal in Friday's affair. "If we want to win hockey games, we have to play like that more often."
Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan could feel the pressure unloaded from his team with the win but maintained the need to continue the incline, given their 4-7-1 start.
"There's still a lot of room for improvement," he said. "By no means can that locker room rest for one night.
"We have work ahead of us and it's going to get tougher."
Edmonton will embark on a four-game Eastern road swing following Sunday's game.
Puck drop on Sunday will be around 2:08 pm MST, typically much earlier than the routine 7:08 pm starts.
Historically, teatime tilts haven't played out in Edmonton's favour. The squad is 52-72-9-6 all-time when playing in afternoon meetings.
"At this point, we're all professionals," said Darnell Nurse. "We've played enough afternoon games to find out have to figure out our schedule to adjust."
At home, the squad is 12-15-2-1.
"The good thing about afternoon games is you're not waiting around all day for the game," said Nurse. "You wake up, get yourself ready, get to the rink and game on."
Edmonton dropped their only other matinee game this season when they lost 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers on October 21. The Oilers have 10 more matinee games scheduled throughout the season.
SLEPY ON THE SHELF
McLellan disclosed right winger Anton Slepyshev sustained an injury late against New Jersey. The Russian is doubtful versus the Red Wings.
"Slep injured himself late in the game yesterday and I would call him doubtful for tomorrow," said McLellan.
Kailer Yamamoto could draw into the lineup in what would be the rookie's ninth career game. If he plays a 10th, his entry-level contract would kick into effect.
The Oilers skated in the same lines as Friday's match, with the exception of Yamamoto on the second line in Slepyshev's absence.
Maroon - McDavid - Draisaitl
Lucic - RNH - Yamamoto
Caggiula - Strome - Jokinen
Pakarinen - Letestu - Kassian
Nurse - Larsson
Klefbom - Benning
Russell - Gryba
-- Paul Gazzola, EdmontonOilers.com
OILERS (4-7-1) vs. RED WINGS (6-7-1)
TV: 2:00 p.m. MDT; Televised on Sportsnet West
Tonight's game is the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. They will meet again in Detroit on November 22. Last season, the Oilers went 2-0 against the Red Wings.
The Oilers are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games against Detroit.
Oilers team scope:
The Oilers are closing out their five-game homestand against Detroit. They are 2-2-0 so far, with wins over Detroit and New Jersey.
They defeated New Jersey on Friday night, 6-3. In that win they got goals from six different Oilers, including Drake Caggiula and Oscar Klefbom who each scored their firsts of the season.
Red Wings team scope:
The Red Wings lost the first of their four road games on this trip. They were defeated 3-1 in Ottawa on Thursday night, and have had two days to rest and practice before playing in Edmonton.
The loss snapped a two-game win streak for Detroit, after they had lost their previous six.
By the Numbers:
Patrick Maroon set a new career high point streak at seven games with his assist versus New Jersey. Connor McDavid had three assists versus New Jersey, giving him four multi-point games this season.
Goaltender Cam Talbot notched his 100th career win on Friday night, making 31 saves.
Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings in scoring with 13 points (2-11-13), while Anthony Mantha leads in goals with six.
OILERS -Andrej Sekera (knee) is out; Anton Slepyshev (undisclosed) is doubtful
RED WINGS - J. Franzen (concussion) is on IR; D. DeKeyser (ankle) is day-to-day