The Edmonton Oilers opened their three-game Canadian trip with an impressive performance. Playing well in consecutive games, however, has been something of a problem for the young team.
Looking to win two straight for the first time since the opening week of the season, the Oilers visit the Northeast Division-leading Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
As expected, 2010-11 appears to be a rebuilding effort for the Oilers after they finished with the league's worst record last season. They have a Western Conference-low 18 points and have allowed a league-high 89 goals.
Edmonton (7-12-4) surprised by winning its first two games but has gone 5-12-4 since, failing to win two straight. The Oilers have been outscored 16-4 in games following their last three victories, but have another chance to start a win streak after beating Ottawa 4-1 on Monday.
Martin Gerber stopped 23 shots and Andrew Cogliano and Gilbert Brule each had a goal and an assist to help the Oilers win for the second time in three contests. Gerber beat his former team and has gone 2-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average in two starts, but was assigned to Oklahoma City of the AHL on Wednesday.
Devan Dubnyk, who has allowed nine goals on 59 shots in his last two starts, is scheduled to start for the Oilers. He has one win in six starts this season with a 3.22 GAA -- among the league's worst marks.
The line of Cogliano, Brule and Dustin Penner has four goals and eight assists in the last five games.
"I feel comfortable with Pens and Bru," Cogliano said.
Right wing Ales Hemsky is expected to return to Edmonton's lineup after missing the last three games with a groin pull. Hemsky is tied for second on the team with 15 points.
"The goal was to go for the morning skate, try again, and see how it is. It's feeling way better and I'll try to give it a go," Hemsky told the team's official website said after the morning skate.
Montreal (15-8-1) rebounded from being shut out at Atlanta the previous night with a 3-1 victory over visiting Buffalo on Saturday. Brian Gionta had two goals and an assist and Carey Price came within 73 seconds of his fourth shutout in his last nine starts.
Price ranks among the league leaders with 14 wins and a 1.95 GAA and is tied for the lead with four shutouts. He is 7-2-0 with 1.23 GAA in his last nine starts.
"We played pretty hard tonight," said Price, who has started 22 of the team's 24 games. "We all wanted to bounce back from (Friday) night's game and I thought everybody came out with the right mentality and played hard the whole game."
The Canadiens have won six of seven at home, going 9 for 31 on the power play while allowing two goals in 29 short-handed situations during that span.
Michael Cammalleri, who has spent most of his career playing in the Western Conference, has five goals and five assists in his last five games against the Oilers.
The last three games between these teams in Montreal have gone past regulation, with the Canadiens winning twice in a shootout and once in overtime.
AccuScore has powered more than 10,000 simulations for every NHL game on ESPN.com, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions and opponent's abilities. Each game is simulated and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages.