The St. Louis Blues haven't distinguished themselves in the first half of the season, but they've been surprising successful on the road.
Lately, the Edmonton Oilers have experienced nothing but disappointment on their home ice.
In a matchup of two of the Western Conference's worst clubs, the Blues will try to snap an eight-game skid against the Oilers by spoiling the finale of their four-game homestand Monday night.
St. Louis (15-14-5) occupied the conference's cellar before kicking off a four-game road trip Sunday night against Vancouver, but the Blues pushed the Oilers (15-16-4) into last place with a 3-1 victory, their sixth in their last eight road contests.
St. Louis improved to 9-3-3 away from home as David Backes and Keith Tkachuk broke a 1-all tie with second-period goals. Backes has five goals in his last five games and three in the past two meetings with Edmonton.
The winger's next task is helping his team snap a three-game slide at Rexall Place.
"It seems like when teams show us up we come back the next time and play a good hard game and get the best of them," Backes said. "Maybe that's why we had such a good second half last year is we were vengeful after getting beat a few too many times."
The Oilers got a pair of second-period goals from Shawn Horcoff and Andrew Cogliano on Saturday night, but they gave up four goals over the final 20 minutes to fall 4-2 to Washington.
"Maybe we were just trying to hold the lead instead of sticking to our gameplan and applying pressure to them," said defenseman Tom Gilbert, whose team is on an 0-4-1 skid at home, where it's lost its last three overall games. "We collapsed into a little box, and a good team like that will eat you up."
Edmonton also led Nashville 2-0 in the first 5:01 on Thursday night but gave up three goals to end the first period. The Oilers never recovered in a 6-3 defeat.
"We do a lot of good things, but we seem to have letdowns," defenseman Steve Staios said. "The disappointing thing is that we know we can play at a high level. We just haven't been able to sustain it for 60 minutes."
If there's hope for Edmonton, it could come in facing a St. Louis team that it beat in thrilling fashion less than two weeks ago. After giving up the first three goals Dec. 11 at the Scottrade Center, the Oilers charged back with five unanswered goals -- including two from Gilbert Brule -- to take a 5-3 victory.
Dustin Penner added a goal and three assists in that game, and he has a team-best five goals and 10 points during his team's win streak against St. Louis.
Jeff Deslauriers, who has started 14 straight games in place of an injured Nikolai Khabibulin (back), made 27 saves against the Blues on Dec. 11, his only previous meeting with St. Louis.
Ty Conklin took the loss in that game but stopped 30 shots in Sunday's victory. However, he could sit in place of starter Chris Mason on Monday night. Mason is 2-0-2 with a 1.68 goals-against average all-time versus Edmonton.