The Edmonton Oilers may be left with little hope of making the playoffs by the time their team-record nine-game road trip wraps up if they don't start generating more shots.
They'll try to win on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second time this year Tuesday night, when the Jackets will try to get a second straight strong performance from their normally anemic power play.
Edmonton (8-9-4) is 1-2-1 on its nine-game jaunt, one necessitated by the Canadian men's curling championships occupying Rexall Place. The Oilers have generated 21 or fewer shots three times on the trip and have been outshot 73-38 in losing their past two contests.
In a 4-2 defeat to Minnesota on Sunday, the Oilers were outshot 18-0 in the second period -- though they didn't give up a goal -- as part of an overall 23:35 span without a shot on goal.
The club is also allowing 33.8 shots on goal per game, most in the NHL.
"We've got to play in their end," said center Sam Gagner, the team's points leader with 20. "It's tough to get shots when you're playing in your own end and you're coughing up pucks in the neutral zone and you're not playing hard enough in the 'D' zone."
Edmonton is buried near the bottom of the Western Conference standings -- ahead of only Columbus.
In perhaps a sign of things to come, the visiting Oilers were outshot 40-14 by the Blue Jackets on Feb. 10, though Edmonton won 3-1 behind Devan Dubnyk's 39 saves. Dubnyk faced 43 shots Sunday and is facing nearly 32 per game -- among the most in the NHL.
The Blue Jackets' average of 26.3 shots is among the lowest in the league. Columbus (6-12-4) has also been plagued by an awful power play, scoring on 13.6 percent of its chances.
That unit showed signs of life Sunday, however. After converting once in their previous 24 opportunities, the Blue Jackets scored both goals with the man advantage in a 2-1 overtime win over Colorado.
Already missing four players with at least eight points, the Blue Jackets got another scare when forward Artem Anisimov left after taking a puck to the leg early on. However, he returned and scored in OT during a 4-on-3, snapping a four-game losing streak and giving Columbus a 1-0-2 mark in its past three.
"For me, it's more of a team win. We got two huge points," Anisimov said. "We just need to keep going."
The other goal came from 38-year-old Vinny Prospal on a 5-on-3 advantage. It was Prospal's team-leading eighth goal.
"Vinny's a passionate guy," coach Todd Richards said. " ... This is what he does. He's been one of our probably most consistent players as far as creating offense."
Left wing Taylor Hall has nine points in his last six games against Columbus.