|Red Wings try to keep Oilers down|
DETROIT -- Seventeen days ago, the Detroit Red Wings turned in their most complete effort of the NHL season, blanketing the Edmonton Oilers for a 4-0 road victory.
As the Oilers arrive in Detroit in the midst of a road trip, what can the Wings learn from their previous victory at Edmonton that they can deploy against them as they meet again at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday?
Not much, according to Wings forward Darren Helm.
"I don't think we're looking at that game as a turning point for us," Helm said despite the Wings going 3-1-2 since their victory in Edmonton.
"We're not going to bring back emotions from that game. We can't look at every game and remember how good we were. It's different games. It just happens that we're playing Edmonton, coincidentally."
The Wings (10-8-3) are much more concerned about learning from their last game. Facing a Colorado Avalanche team that had played the night before and been humbled 5-2 by the Nashville Predators, Detroit squandered a third-period lead and lost 4-3 in overtime.
"We've just got to be better than we were last game," Helm said. "That's all it is. We've just got to be better."
The Oilers arrive in Detroit after being manhandled 8-3 on Tuesday by the St. Louis Blues, but the Wings have lost their last two games while facing teams that played the previous night.
"I think we've gained an understanding over the last month of the type of hockey we have to play to be successful," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "I think we know that. We revisited it this morning.
"I thought we did a good job up there (in Edmonton) of being able to get pucks behind them and forecheck, spend time in their end and spend little time in their D zone. They're a really good O-zone team.
"The last game on Sunday, we had the most D-zone time we've had all year and we certainly don't want that against Edmonton, because they'll be a handful."
Detroit's checking line of Helm, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening were effective in shutting down Oilers star Connor McDavid in Edmonton and can expect to handle that assignment even more frequently, since Detroit will hold the last change on home ice.
"It's a great opportunity, a great challenge," Helm said. "It's not an easy one for sure. He's definitely one of the best players in the league. He's very dangerous with the puck.
"You put a lot on yourself to be good, and that could be the difference in the game."
The Oilers (7-12-2) have lost three in a row and been outscored 18-7 in the process. They are 0-2 thus far on their five-game road trip and are second-last overall in the Western Conference.
McDavid has been ailing with the flu, but suited up Tuesday against the Blues.
"He's been sick for a week to 10 days now," Oilers coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. "He's starting to feel better, but we'll monitor his practice time."
Goalie Cam Talbot was hooked from Tuesday's loss after allowing two goals on the game's first three shots. He owns an .809 save percentage in his last three starts.
"He's part of the team," McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. "The goalies have to be better, the defense, the forwards, the coaches have to be better. None of us have lived up to where we need to be and that's why we're where we are in the standings.
"I'm not going to single out the goaltender. It's team-wide."