Nearly seven weeks ago, the Edmonton Oilers notched their season-high fifth straight win after beating the St. Louis Blues. They've won once since and tied a 16-year-old team record for futility while spiraling to the bottom of the NHL.
The lowly Oilers will try snap an 11-game losing streak and post only their second victory in 20 contests Thursday night when they host the Blues.
Edmonton (16-29-6) rallied from a three-goal second-period deficit by scoring five goals in a row -- four coming in the third period -- to win 5-3 at St. Louis on Dec. 11.
Any confidence the Oilers may have gained during that run came to a sudden end as they have gone 1-16-2, including a 7-2 home loss to the Blues on Dec. 21, to fall into the league cellar.
The stretch includes an 11-game skid, matching the franchise record set from Oct. 16-Nov. 7, 1993.
That slide didn't end Tuesday, when Jeff Deslauriers gave up a goal on the first shot in a 4-2 loss to Central Division-leading Chicago at Rexall Place.
"I think we were trying to scrape ourselves together after that," coach Pat Quinn said after his team trailed 44 seconds into the game. "We played like deer in the headlights. We knew it was a good team we were playing and it was like we were going to just stand there and hope nothing bad would happen."
Quinn was also critical of Dustin Penner, the team leader with 21 goals and 43 points. He was held without a point for the 13th time since being named first star for scoring one goal and assisting on three others to power the Dec. 11 comeback against the Blues.
The left wing has three goals and four assists in 19 games since, scoring once against St. Louis on Dec. 21.
"I would have liked to see him pound the guy he was opposite of, but there wasn't any interest in that," Quinn told the Oilers' official Web site. "It's how he's been playing the last two weeks, there seems to be a lifelessness there right now."
Penner is in the third year of a five-year, $21.25 million deal.
The Oilers could get a lift if centers Mike Comrie (mononucleosis) and Gilbert Brule (flu) can return to the lineup after missing 30 and seven games, respectively.
Brule, who has 11 goals and 13 assists, scored twice and added an assist at St. Louis. Comrie has five goals while setting up three in 16 games this season.
The Blues (23-22-8) have lost three of four after falling 3-2 at Vancouver on Wednesday as backup goaltender Ty Conklin allowed the eventual winner to Christian Ehrhoff with less than eight minutes to play.
Chris Mason may be back in net after Conklin started the last two games, including a 34-save performance in a 2-0 win at Calgary on Monday for his team-leading third shutout.
Mason has lost his last three starts while posting a 3.29 goals-against average, but is 3-0-2 with a 1.75 GAA in five games against the Oilers. He made 25 saves in the victory at Edmonton on Dec. 21, while Conklin stopped 33 shots to take the loss in the previous meeting.
Conklin spent his first three-plus NHL seasons with the Oilers, and is 3-2-0 with a 3.02 GAA and a shutout against them.