Since MacTavish took over, the Oilers have gone 0-3-2 and have not won in nine games overall.
Edmonton will have a couple new faces on the ice as well. Newly acquired forwards Derek Roy and Matt Fraser are expected to be in the lineup against the Kings.
Fraser, 24, was plucked off waivers by the Oilers from the Bruins on Monday. In 24 games this season, the Red Deer, Alberta native has three goals and seven penalty minutes to go along with a minus-5 rating.
For about 13 minutes in the second period, Edmonton dominated this game with four straight goals. The Oilers had been anemic offensively all season, but they seemed to finally find their spark. Sure it was against Dallas, which statistically speaking is the only squad worse than the Oilers defensively, but still, it was their highest goal total since Oct. 24 when they were facing a Hurricanes squad that was in the midst of a season-opening eight-game losing streak.
It turned sour for Edmonton though as Jamie Benn gave the Stars some hope with his goal late in the second period. That opened the door for Tyler Seguin to even the game in the third with his league-leading 24th and 25th goals of the 2014-15 campaign.
Edmonton lasted eight rounds in the subsequent shootout, but eventually lost on the strength of a Shawn Horcoff marker. The Oilers have won just one of their last 19 games.
“No excuses. We were up three goals and needed to find a way to close it out. We needed to be more aware of (Seguin),” Oilers forward Teddy Purcell remarked after the game, per the Oilers’ Twitter feed.
The Oilers are now 7-20-7 this season, which naturally keeps them in the NHL basement. Of course, this isn’t a new position for the Oilers as they’ve had a number of awful seasons over the past six years while trying to build through the draft. Even in that context though, this has been a uniquely bad campaign for this franchise. They’ve collected just 30.9% of their maximum possible points through 34 games, which isn’t just a franchise worst, but an Earth-shattering crash compared to their previous low in 1992-93. In that campaign they finished with 60 points, which is their franchise-low for a season that included at least 80 games. Right now they’re on pace for 51.
Forget the playoffs. Any realistic hope of them making it has been dead for a while. Whether or not they’ll finish 30th in the league is still very much in question, but at this point should the conversation start to shift to: Are the 2014-15 Edmonton Oilers so bad it’s record-breaking?
The Edmonton Oilers’ problems this season have been numerous, but one of their most glaring has been their offensive struggles. They came into tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars with an average of just 2.09 goals per contest despite having some talented, skilled forwards on their roster.
In fact, Edmonton has scored three or fewer goals in every game since Nov. 19 — or at least that was true when the day began. Dallas had a 2-1 lead going into the second period, but Teddy Purcell evened the contest just 11 seconds into the frame. Mark Arcobello then gave the Oilers some insurance with his sixth and seventh goals of the season.
That ended Kari Lehtonen’s night just 29:19 minutes into this contest. He stopped 15 of 19 shots.
Rebounds were an issue for Lehtonen, but he shouldn’t take the full blame for the Stars’ performance so far tonight. That point was emphasized when Taylor Hall beat replacement goaltender Anders Lindback on the first shot the netminder faced.