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(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings' current four-game western road trip got off to a flying start with a 3-1 victory Monday at Los Angeles, but things haven't gone so smoothly since.

The Wings have been dealt lopsided losses in back-to-back games, first a 4-1 setback to Anaheim on Wednesday and then a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of San Jose on Thursday. Poor execution on special teams, a recurring problem for Detroit during the early portions of this season, played a large role in both defeats.

Against the Ducks, Detroit failed to convert any of its eight power play chances while Anaheim made good on three of 10 opportunities with the man advantage. The next night, the Red Wings repeatedly got themselves in trouble with careless penalties that the Sharks took full advantage of. San Jose built a 3-0 lead less than 15 minutes into the game -- all coming on power-play goals -- and finished 5-of-13 with the extra skater for the night.

"The whole game we were shorthanded," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock afterward. "We played really hard and really competed, we just never got any results."

The Red Wings have killed only 75 percent (36-of-48) over their penalties through their first seven games. Only Nashville, at 74.3 percent, has a worse success rate. Detroit has also been punchless on the power play, having connected on a paltry 4-of-41 (9.8 percent) chances thus far.

Detroit will wrap up its road trip on Saturday against the team that eliminated the Wings from last year's playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers. The teams will be meeting for the first time since Edmonton won Game 6 of its Western Conference quarterfinal to upset the top-seeded Red Wings in six games.

Things weren't supposed to come this easily for the Detroit Red Wings this season.

Yet, here we are in April and Detroit has distanced itself from the rest of the pack. The Red Wings are Central Division champions and have clinched the top seed in the Western Conference. With 116 points, they also lead the Presidents' Trophy race by eight points over Ottawa and Carolina.

The Red Wings' record for points in a season is 131 set by the 1995-96 club. With one more point Detroit will have the second-best regular season in franchise history.

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