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COLORADO AVALANCHE (11-8-1) at
EDMONTON OILERS (8-12-1)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST
Television: Molson Canadian Oilers Pay Per View
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
Just seven points separates first from last in the Northwest Division – the smallest gap in the NHL currently – and six points separates the Edmonton Oilers from tonight’s opponent, the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche right now sit third in the Northwest Division and sixth in the Western Conference. With a win tonight over the Avs, Edmonton would close that gap to four points and improve their record to 4-3-1 in their past eight games. All eight of those games have been against Northwest Division opponents.
This is Colorado’s eighth game of an 11 game stretch during which they will play 10 games against their own division. The Avs have run into a rough patch of late with only one win in their last five games (1-3-1). They have lost each of their last three games by a combined score of 14-3. Their last game was a 4-1 loss in Calgary on Tuesday.
The Oilers also played a divisional opponent on Tuesday, defeating the Vancouver Canucks 5-4 in a thrilling shootout game. LAST GAME: Oilers 5, Canucks 4 (SO) This is Edmonton’s third game of the season versus Colorado. The Avs won each of the first two – 4-2 at Edmonton and 4-3 at Denver.
Just The Facts...
Pitkanen provides boost to blueline - After a brief skate this morning, Joni Pitkanen is very likely to make his return to the Oilers lineup tonight, playing in his first game since October 20. Should he play, his addition to the blueline will be welcomed in a big way. ...more
Pisani steps onto the ice with teammates for the first time - Edmonton Oilers players had a familiar face join them at practice today for the first time this season. Number 34 skated in a full practice, moving that much closer to returning to the club. ...more News Updates The Answers
Pre-Game Video... Pre-Game video comments from Garon, Horcoff, Gilbert, Smid, Brodziak & MacTavish. 700K Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Ladislav Smid
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Kyle Brodziak
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Mathieu Garon
Listen to all (in order: Garon, Gilbert, Horcoff, Brodziak, Smid and MacTavish)
Recent Video: Comments from Pisani and Reasoner on the return of Pisani to practice with the team. 700K Kevin Lowe gives an injury update on Oilers Live. 700K
New Oilers Player Wallpaper Available! - You can now download the following players: Cogliano, Gagner, Greene, Hemsky, Horcoff, Moreau, Nilsson, Penner, Pitkanen, Roloson, Sanderson, Souray, Stoll, Tarnstrom and Torres with more coming soon! ...more Tickets for Troops Online Auction - Proceeds from the Tickets For Troops Online Auction will go to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and the Garrison Edmonton Military Family Resource Centre. ...more Christmas Packs Back for the Holidays - Edmonton Oilers Christmas Packs are back in time for the holiday season, with your chance to give the gift of hockey to the Oilers fan in your life. Follow the link to find out more information and to register. ...more From the Wire
The Colorado Avalanche's recent offensive struggles on the road have them mired in their worst losing streak of the season.
The Avalanche look to get their offense on track and avoid their first five-game skid away from home in nearly four years when they meet the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
Colorado (11-8-1) has lost a season-high three straight and four of its last five, totaling eight goals in that stretch. The Avalanche have mustered just one goal in each game during the slide - all on the road - and have allowed 14.
They fell 4-1 at Calgary on Tuesday, giving them three consecutive defeats for the first time since Feb 22-25. Colorado hasn't lost four in a row since last Nov. 7-15.
"I thought across the board everybody worked hard and did what we wanted to do as far as everybody contributing from shift to shift," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said after Tuesday's game. "I think we've got to build off and get excited about the next game because if you do those things right you'll generally come up with something."
Colorado is in the midst of its second four-game road skid of the season, but might welcome a visit to Edmonton, where it has won six of its last eight - including a 4-2 victory on Oct. 23.
The Avalanche are looking to avoid losing five consecutive road games for the first time since March 16-31, 2004. To avoid that mark, they will need increased production from top scorers Paul Stastny, Marek Svatos and Wojtek Wolski, who have totaled one goal and one assist during the three-game skid.
Colorado is also seeking to improve its power play on the road, which is the worst in the NHL at 7.3 percent (3-for-41). The Avalanche are 0-for-12 on the power play in the last three games.
Edmonton (8-12-1) is in last place in the Northwest Division, but avoided a third straight loss with a 5-4 shootout victory over Vancouver on Tuesday. The Oilers scored three power-play goals after going 0-for-12 with the man advantage in their previous three games.
"It's a huge relief for us," said center Shawn Horcoff, who had a goal and an assist on the power play as well as the decisive shootout goal. "We've been moving it pretty well but we obviously weren't getting the results. We worked very hard on it in practice and were finally able to do it."
Mathieu Garon made 20 saves to win for the third time in his last four starts and help Edmonton end a four-game slide at home.
These teams meet again next Wednesday in Colorado, where the Avalanche are 9-1-0 this season compared to a 2-7-1 mark away from the Pepsi Center.