Oilers begin post-Eakins era in Arizona

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Arizona Coyotes will have one more chance to snap their longest home losing streak in team history before hitting the road for a few games.

The Coyotes try to snap their nine-game skid at home on Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers, who take to the ice one day after the firing of their head coach.

Arizona has not picked up a victory at home since Nov. 4, going 0-6-3 since. The Coyotes have been outscored 17-6 in losing the first four of a five-game homestand that ends tonight.

They hit the road for three in a row starting on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Lauri Korpikoski and Antoine Vermette all scored in Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, while Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves through overtime before getting beat twice in the tiebreaker.

Arizona has lost five in a row overall.

"We said the other night we are going to have to play harder, we're going to have to be harder to play against," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.

Tippett scratched both forward Sam Gagner and defenseman Connor Murphy in an attempt to shake up his slumping club. It is unknown if either will slide back into the lineup tonight, but Korpikoski is questionable with a lower-body injury suffered on Saturday that kept him out of practice on Monday.

The good news for Arizona is that it has won eight of its past nine over Edmonton and nine of the last 12 played at home. The Coyotes have scored 14 goals in beating the Oilers three times in as many meetings already this season.

Edmonton comes in having lost four in a row and 15 of its past 16 (1-11-4). The Oilers are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for the fewest points in the NHL with 19 and the ax finally fell on head coach Dallas Eakins on Monday.

Eakins was fired 31 games into his second season with the Oilers, who went 29-44-9 last season under their former coach.

General manager Craig MacTavish will take over the Oilers on an interim basis before transitioning the team over to Todd Nelson, who was in his fifth season coaching the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City. He'll join the team as an assistant coach before MacTavish hands him the reins on an interim basis.

"There's blood all over my hands in this as well because I put the lineup together and the roster," noted MacTavish on Monday. "I'm not here to absolve myself of accountability for the situation that we're in, nor am I here to solely blame Dallas for the job that he did because in my mind he did a lot of really good things for our group."

Eakins' last game on Edmonton's bench was a lifeless 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday in which the Oilers had only 16 shots.

Ben Scrivens made 20 saves but Edmonton's offense remained stuck in a slump. The Oilers have now scored two goals or fewer in seven consecutive games and were shut out for the fourth time this season.

Edmonton has lost seven straight on the road.