COLORADO AVALANCHE (7-8-0) at
EDMONTON OILERS (8-7-1)
Start Time: 8:08 p.m. MST
Television: CBC (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Today's Game Notes
|Colorado's Scott Hannan tangles with Edmonton's Ethan Moreau at the Pepsi Center on October 23 2008 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Nick Conrad | edmontonoilers.com
|THE ESSENTIALS FOR TONIGHT
Craig MacTavish knew the importance of the first game back at home after a long road trip. Although ‘knowing is half the battle,’ the other half is the actual battle and that’s where the Oilers went wrong on Thursday night, much to the chagrin of MacT.
“I don’t get it. It’s the high-risk plays...it’s a stubbornness,” MacTavish said after Thursday’s loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s the same lesson we get beat over the head with time and time again and hopefully it’s going to sink in at some point or else it’s going to be a roller coaster ride again.”
Tonight, we’ll see if the Oilers have learned their lesson against the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs slide into Edmonton with a two-game win streak but haven’t fared well in Edmonton, as they’ve lost their last three at Rexall Place. The two clubs are 1-1 against each other this season.
Tomorrow, Edmonton will saddle up again for a back-to-back two-game road trip against Detroit and Columbus on Monday and Tuesday.
There may be a new face in the lineup as newly-acquired, Jesse Boulerice, might draw into the lineup for tonight’s matchup, something he’s looking forward to.
“I’ve played here (at Rexall) a few times before and get chills during the anthem,” he said. “It’s exciting to play here...the fans are unbelievable.”
Just The Facts...
Dwayne Roloson gets the start in goal tonight... Kyle Brodziak and Dustin Penner
are sitting out tonight's game. Inserted into the lineup in their place are Jesse Boulerice and Liam Reddox
... Robert Nilsson moves to the second line alongside Shawn Horcoff
and Erik Cole. Boulerice and Reddox make up the fourth unit with Marc Pouliot.
OILERS TO WATCH:
Dwayne Roloson hasn’t played since the 5-4 loss in Columbus and will try to get the Oil back on track if he gets the call tonight...Sam Gagner
finally broke his goal-scoring slump and will look to build some scoring momentum...Jesse Boulerice might make his presence known quickly—‘paging Ian Laperriere.’
AVALANCHE TO WATCH:
Peter Budaj, while posting average numbers this season, is 10-3-0-2 lifetime versus the Oilers...Milan Hejduk leads the Avs in goals with eight and has been prolific against Edmonton, scoring 23-25-48 in 57 games.
Edmonton – Ladislav Smid
(concussion) is out. and has been placed on the NHL Injured Reserve List. Liam Reddox
has been recalled from Springfield (AHL) Steve MacIntyre
(orbital bone) is out; Colorado – Joe Sakic is out. Ben Guite (ribs) is out..
Tonight’s game will be the Avs' 1,000th regular-season contest since relocating to Denver from Quebec in 1995-96...Jesse Boulerice, who was playing for Colorado’s AHL affiliate before being acquired by the Oilers, was a teammate of Erik Cole’s in Carolina.
Reddox recalled; Smid placed on IR
- General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have recalled left winger Liam Reddox
from the AHL's Springfield Falcons and placed defenceman Ladislav Smid
on the NHL Injured Reserve List. ...more
The Other Side
- Ask the Prospects: Favourite Player - In this edition of "Ask the Prospects," the players talk about their hockey role models as Avalanche TV poses the question, "Who was your favorite player growing up, and why?" ...more
- Wojtek Wolski: Ask an Av - You sent in the questions, and now Wojtek Wolski supplies the answers. See what the forward had to say in the 2008-09 season's first edition of "Ask an Av" ...more
- You Decide: Avalanche Play of the Week - We've offered up the three choices, now it's your turn to vote for the Avalanche's "Play of the Week." Take a look at the videos and then vote on the poll to let your voice be heard in selecting the week's best play ...more
From the Fans
Odds and Ends
- 5 Questions with Mathieu Garon - We shouldn't be surprised that Mathieu Garon has a soft spot for mom's homemade lasagna, but who knew a certain friendly toucan gets his tummy grumbling as well? ...more
- The LINK: Oilers fans invade Conan and more!
Oilers fans stopped by Conan O'Brien's show on Monday night.
- Gilbert's Blog: Road Trip Reflections - We got back into town a few days ago and it feels really good to be back. The worst part about long road trips like that is carrying around all your luggage. It’s awful. You have to pack it up every single time and get it on the bus and then unpack it. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
With consecutive victories, the Colorado Avalanche appear to have put their recent losing streak behind them.
The Avalanche try for a third straight win as they continue a three-game Canadian road trip with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Colorado (7-8-0) has been streaky this season, opening with three consecutive losses before winning five straight from Oct. 16-25. The Avalanche lost five in a row after that, getting outscored 21-8 in the process.
Peter Budaj surrendered 17 of those goals, but has yielded only one since to spark the Avalanche to back-to-back wins.
Budaj made 26 saves to shut out Nashville on Saturday, then followed it up Wednesday by stopping 31 shots through overtime and two more in the shootout to best Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo in a 2-1 victory.
"Luongo played an amazing game, but Peter stepped up last game for us with a shutout and this game they had so many good scoring chances in front of the net, and he just seemed to keep us in it especially on the penalty kill," Colorado winger Wojtek Wolski said.
This is the third meeting already this season for these Northwest Division rivals. The home team has taken each of the first two matchups - a 3-2 win for the Oilers (8-7-1) on Oct. 12 at Rexall Place, and a 4-1 Avalanche win in Colorado 11 days later. Budaj was in net for both games, and is 10-3-2 with a 2.47 goals-against average in 15 career outings against Edmonton.
The Avalanche have dropped their last three visits to Edmonton.
Avalanche captain Joe Sakic could return to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game because of a strained back. The veteran forward - third on the team with 12 points - has four goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak versus the Oilers, and has 99 points in 83 career games against them.
Edmonton opened its brief two-game homestand Thursday with a 5-2 defeat to Toronto. Denis Grebeshkov and Ales Hemsky each had two assists, while rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers - making his first appearance at Rexall Place - finished with 23 saves but suffered his first NHL loss.
The Oilers gave up at least five goals for the third time in their last five games - a span in which they've gone 2-3-0. Penalty killing was the main culprit, as three of the Maple Leafs' goals came in four power-play opportunities.
"We spent a lot of time in our zone in the second period and had some penalties to try and kill off and that was the momentum shift," defenseman Steve Staios said.
Hemsky - pacing the Oilers with 17 points - has five goals and six assists over his last eight games, and has two goals and nine assists in his last nine versus Colorado.
Saturday's game is the Avs' 1,000th regular-season contest since relocating to Denver from Quebec in 1995-96. The Avalanche conclude their road trip Tuesday night at Calgary.