(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings failed to get a six-game road trip off to a positive start, but Mike Babcock's club hopes to get back on track Tuesday night in Edmonton.
The Red Wings will shoot for a seventh consecutive victory in the series with the Oilers when they clubs battle this evening at Rexall Place.
Detroit posted a 3-1-0 mark over its final four games in December, but began the 2015 calendar year with Saturday's 4-1 setback in Vancouver. Tomas Tatar scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who fell to 7-6-3 as the visiting team this season.
Jimmy Howard made 20 saves for the Red Wings, who suffered their eighth loss in 11 games (3-4-4). Despite the rough patch over the last month, Detroit is still holding on to the third and final automatic playoff bid in the Atlantic Division.
"I think the game was a lot closer than it seemed," Howard said. "We did a great job from the get-go. We played a pretty solid road game. If we keep playing like this in the next couple of months we'll be fine."
Howard could get a rest for Detroit over the next two games as Detroit is scheduled to continue its swing with tomorrow's tilt in Calgary. The Red Wings No. 1 netminder is sporting a 10-1-2 record and a 1.87 goals against average in 13 career games against Edmonton, while backup Peter Mrazek has a shutout victory in his only career appearance against the Oilers.
In addition to winning six straight in the series with Edmonton, Detroit holds a stellar 13-0-2 record in the last 15 meetings. The Oilers last posted a regulation win over the Red Wings on Dec. 3, 2009 in Detroit.
Detroit owns an 8-0-5 record over its last 13 trips to Rexall Place.
However, things have been looking up for the lowly Oilers of late, as the NHL's basement dwellers have recorded at least a point in each of their last four games. Edmonton, which is one point behind Carolina at the bottom of the league standings, improved to 2-0-2 over its last four games with Sunday's 5-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders. The three-goal decision tied a season-high for margin of victory along with a 6-3 win over Carolina on Oct. 24 and a 3-0 result against Montreal three days later.
Matt Hendricks tallied twice and Jordan Eberle tied a franchise record with his lone marker as Edmonton shocked the Islanders to begin a three-game homestand.
Eberle tallied just eight seconds into the second period to stake Edmonton to a 2-0 lead. The score was the fastest to start a period in Oilers history since Mark Messier beat Chicago (5-4) with a goal eight seconds into overtime on Nov. 19, 1989 at Northlands Coliseum .
Derek Roy and Matt Fraser also supplied offense for the Oilers, who picked up their first regulation home victory since Dec. 7 against San Jose. Edmonton is now 7-12-2 as the host this season.
"There is more energy in the room right now and you can just sense that we have been knocking on the doorstep the last few games," Hendricks said.
Ben Scrivens came through with a 31-save performance in Sunday's win. Scrivens has never faced Detroit.