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EDMONTON OILERS (34-31-5) at
COLORADO AVALANCHE (38-27-6)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MDT
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 Can he go for four? Oilers rookie Andrew Cogliano potted the overtime winner in each of the last three games to set a new NHL record and now he and his teammates go for a fourth straight when Edmonton visits the Colorado Avalanche this evening.
However, if you ask the Oilers they would just as soon win this one in regulation since this game has playoff implications that go far beyond extending what is already an incredible record in overtime.
The Avalanche sit sixth in the Western Conference with 82 points. Edmonton is nine points back at 73 points but hold a game in hand. Tonight is also the first of three more meetings between these teams between now and the final game of the season.
The Oilers have won seven of their last eight games overall and are playing their best hockey of the season despite missing key players like Shawn Horcoff, Sheldon Souray, Raffi Torres and captain Ethan Moreau.
LAST GAME: Oilers 4, Blues 3 (OT)
Much like Edmonton, Colorado is playing very well right now despite key injuries to players such as Peter Forsberg, Ryan Smyth, Adam Foote, Jordan Leopold and Marek Svatos.
Since losing five straight games in mid-February, the Avs have rattled off eight wins in their last 10 games to get solidly back in the playoff picture.
Just The Facts...
Pre-Game Audio... Pre-Game at Colorado: Craig MacTavish News Update...
Fernando Pisani is OIlers nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy - The Edmonton chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) has named Oilers forward Fernando Pisani as the Edmonton nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. ...more The Other Side
Theodore's save named #1 of the week - Jose Theodore's stop on Dallas Stars defenseman Trevor Daley earned the #1 spot on NHL.com's Top 10 Saves of the Week ...more Farm Report: Monsters top Griffins - Dan DaSilva and the Lake Erie Monsters scored four unanswered third-period goals during their victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday. See how the rest of Colorado's prospects performed in this week's Farm Report ...more Take the Colorado Avalanche quiz - How well do you know the Avalanche? Find out by testing your knowlege of the franchise's history with the ColoradoAvalanche.com quiz. ...more Odds and Ends
Q & A with Ladislav Smid - Smid returned to the Oilers lineup on Sunday after missing seven games with an ankle and leg injury that was suffered during a collision with Ethan Moreau in practice. Smid was +2 in his first game back, helping the OIlers beat Chicago. ...more Oilers prospects earn collegiate honours - Oilers prospects Riley Nash and Jeff Petry have made quite an impression in their first season of NCAA hockey as both Edmonton draft choices have earned post-season honours with their respective collegiate teams. | Audio | ...more From the Wire
Rookie Andrew Cogliano has led the Edmonton Oilers to three straight overtime victories, reviving his team's playoff chances.
Cogliano aims to keep the Oilers' momentum going as they open a three-game road trip against the surging Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Edmonton (34-31-5) suffered a three-game skid from Feb. 16-22 that nearly dashed the team's goal of making its ninth playoff appearance in 11 seasons after missing out in 2006-07. The Oilers have since won seven of their last eight to move within seven points of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
Cogliano has been key to that success, totaling seven goals and three assists in his last eight appearances, but his best performances seem to occur after regulation. The 20-year-old center set an NHL record with his third consecutive overtime goal, scoring with 4.9 seconds left in a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on Tuesday.
"Things like this don't happen often," said Cogliano, who leads all rookies with five game-winning tallies. "I think I've just been really lucky to have those opportunities go in for me. But yeah, three in a row, that feels pretty good."
Cogliano is among the rookie leaders with 16 goals, and fifth on the Oilers with 38 points - two fewer than fellow first-year star Sam Gagner, who contributed a goal and two assists in Tuesday's victory.
"That was a wild game," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "Kind of hard on the heart for this time of year. You take a 3-0 lead and you think maybe it is going to be an easy night for us.
"We have a young team and you got seduced into thinking it's going to be point night. Hopefully, we have learned a lesson here."
Mathieu Garon finished with 28 saves to improve to 7-1-0 with a 3.14 goals-against average in his last eight starts. This successful stretch began Feb. 24, when he turned aside 27 shots in a 3-2 win over Colorado (38-27-6).
The Avalanche won the first four games before Cogliano scored the game-winning goal in the third period for Edmonton in that contest.
The Oilers are trying to win back-to-back games against the Avalanche for the first time since a four-game run from March 26-Nov. 13, 2006, but have lost three of their last four at the Pepsi Center.
Colorado will play its next two games at home, where it has won four straight - its best run since a five-game winning streak from Dec. 7-23.
The Avalanche are coming off a 5-2 victory at Atlanta on Tuesday. Andrew Brunette scored two goals, while Joe Sakic and rookie David Jones each had a goal and two assists for Colorado, which has won seven of its last eight games to move into a tie with Calgary for the Northwest Division lead.
Colorado, which hopes to advance to the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 seasons, has won nine division titles since 1994-95.
"We've got to take care of our own business," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "Whoever does best within this division is going to have the best chance of winning it."
Jose Theodore made 22 saves on Tuesday, and is 7-1-0 with a shutout and a 1.68 GAA in his last eight starts. However, he is just 4-9-0 with a 3.53 GAA in 14 all-time meetings with the Oilers.
In 78 career games against Edmonton, Sakic has 35 goals and 92 points - his third-most against an opponent.
The Avs will likely be without Jordan Leopold (head), Peter Forsberg (groin) and Ruslan Salei (eye) on Thursday, who are all listed day-to-day.