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COLORADO AVALANCHE (31-25-6) at
EDMONTON OILERS (27-30-5)
Start Time: 6:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com. Game Notes | Oilers/Avalanche Stats Comparison | Player Head-to-Head Statistics The Edmonton Oilers return home following a four-game road trip to kick off a five-game homestand this evening.
In their last game, the Oilers fell 5-2 to the Dallas Stars to finish a four-game road trip with a win and three losses.
LAST GAME: Stars 5, Oilers 2
Every point is crucial now as the team heads into the final stretch drive. Tonight’s opponent, the Colorado Avalanche, have done well against the Oilers this season with three regulation wins and one shootout victory in four games.
The Avs are one of the teams in Edmonton’s way as they attempt to make a move on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Colorado is nine games back of Edmonton but with four more games head-to-head between now and the end of the season, the Oilers can make up that ground starting tonight.
Colorado has struggled recently having gone winless in five straight (0-4-1) going into Friday’s game at Phoenix.
They are currently on a five-game road trip that has opened with a pair of shootout games - a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim on Wednesday and a 3-2 marathon shootout win that went 12 rounds against the Coyotes Friday. Just The Facts...
Pre-game comments from Moreau, Roy, Glencross, Gagner & MacTavish: 700K Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Sam Gagner
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Mathieu Roy
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Ethan Moreau
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Curtis Glencross
Pre-Game vs. Colorado: Craig MacTavish
Listen to all (in order: Gagner, Glencross, Moreau, Roy, MacTavish) Dwayne Roloson clarifies his comments from the other day: Click to listen
The Other Side Q & A with Jeff Finger - You asked the questions, now Avalanche defenseman Jeff Finger provides the answers in the latest edition of "Ask an Av" ...more Postcards from Quebec: Day 9 - Avalanche Pee Wee hockey team goaltenders Carson Pavek and Greg Hundley checked in with ColoradoAvalanche.com to discuss their latest experiences in Quebec, including a visit to the ice hotel ...more From the Fans
Click here to read tonight's gameday thread on the Oilers message board. Odds and Ends
New player wallpapers available! - A large number of new Oilers player wallpapers are available, covering nearly everybody on the team's current active roster. Follow the link to download yours today! ...more Fans beat Oilers alumni in street hockey - The Coca-Cola Ultimate Street Hockey Game was a success. In a close game, the fans beat the Oilers alumni in a shootout, thanks in part to coaching by Jarret Stoll and Marty Reasoner. ...more From the Wire
The Colorado Avalanche remain in the mix in the crowded Northwest Division, but if they plan to return to the playoffs, they can't take any opponent lightly.
The Avalanche look to stay focused and continue their recent dominance of the struggling Edmonton Oilers when they make the third stop on a five-game road trip Sunday at Rexall Place.
Colorado (31-25-6) lost the opener of its road swing in Anaheim on Wednesday, but bounced back Friday with a 3-2 shootout victory at Phoenix. Cody McLeod notched his first career shootout goal in the 12th round - the longest tiebreaker ever for both teams - to help the Avalanche end a season-high, five-game losing streak.
Marek Svatos scored in regulation, and Paul Stastny added his 18th goal in his return to the lineup for Colorado, which has won seven of its last 10 road games (7-2-1).
Stastny had been out since Jan. 15 to recover from a groin injury suffered while trying to return from an appendectomy. Despite his 15-game absence, the second-year center still leads the Avalanche with 32 assists and 50 points.
Colorado has renewed hopes of making its 12th postseason appearance in 13 seasons after failing to reach the playoffs in 2006-07. With Friday's victory, the Avs created an even closer race in the Northwest, where the top four clubs are separated by just five points.
"Every point's huge," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "We've lost a lot of ground the last week and a half."
Colorado also holds a nine-point division lead over last-place Edmonton (27-30-5), which owns the second-worst record in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche are 8-1-1 against the Oilers since Nov. 30, 2006, winning all four meetings this season, including a 4-2 home victory on Nov. 28 in the most recent matchup. They seek their longest winning streak over the Oilers since a six-game run from Feb. 21, 1997-Jan. 26, 1998.
The Avs have won five of their last six visits to Edmonton, which is beginning a five-game homestand.
While the Oilers have won their last three contests at Rexall Place, they have dropped three straight games overall, including a 5-2 defeat at Dallas on Friday.
"We had frenetic play in our zone, we took penalties, and we never recovered," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We played marginally better in the third period but there wasn't enough composure in our end and they capitalized."
Garon is 3-2-0 with a 3.31 goals-against average in seven career games against Colorado. Roloson, who has not started since a Feb. 1 loss to Dallas, is 10-14-1 with two ties and a 3.49 GAA in 29 appearances versus the Avalanche.
Oilers rookie Sam Gagner has two goals and nine assists during an eight-game point streak. He has three assists in four games against Colorado.