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Oilers feeling good heading into matchup with Avs

Friday, 11.25.2011 / 8:52 PM

Deborah Francisco - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Oilers feeling good heading into matchup with Avs
Edmonton Oilers vs. Colorado Avalanche
OILERS (12-8-2) at AVALANCHE (9-12-1)

TV: CBC, ALT (HD)

Last 10:
Edmonton 4-6-0, Colorado 2-7-1

Season Series: This is the second meeting of six between the Avalanche and Oilers this season. In their first contest on Oct. 28, Edmonton prevailed, 3-1. In six meetings last year they split the season series, 3-3.

Big Story: Colorado looks to turn around its struggles at home as the Avalanche play host to the red-hot Oilers on Saturday.

Team Scope:

Edmonton: The Oilers snapped a 17-game winless streak at the Xcel Energy Center with a 5-2 win over the Wild on Friday, picking up two points against the Northwest Division leader. Five different Oilers recorded two-point performances in the victory, including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who notched a pair of goals.

"We're really proud of this win, we thought we played really well from start to finish," second-year forward Taylor Hall said. "We did all the little things from start to finish and we closed out a game which is a huge feat, especially against a team that is at the top of the conference, so we're feeling very good right now."

This victory comes after 6-2 win over the Predators on Tuesday and puts the Oilers in sixth in the Western Conference and second in the Northwest Division despite a brief four-game skid that slowed them down earlier in the month.

Colorado: Things are looking dim in Colorado as the Avalanche continue to struggle to win at home and are in the midst of a season-long eight-game homestand. This struggle was emphasized on Wednesday night when Colorado was shut out by division rival Vancouver, 3-0.

Although the Avalanche continually outshoot their opponents in every game, they have struggled to convert on scoring chances, have been shut out three times this season and are 1-5 in their last five games.

"We're on home ice; it should be easy for us to play on this ice," center Paul Stastny said. "We're well rested and I don't think there are any distractions. We can't score goals. The frustrations are pretty high. We have to find a way. We have to look at ourselves, everyone, and play for the guy next to each other and find a way to get goals."

Perhaps Colorado will receive a spark from some new line combinations as Matt Duchene skated on a line with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk in Friday's practice.

Who's Hot:
Nugent-Hopkins continues to live up to the hype as the rookie has notched 10 points (3G-7A) in just four games.

Injury Report: Edmonton is missing Cam Barker (ankle), Andy Sutton (groin), and Corey Potter (ankle). ... In Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson is sidelined with a groin injury while wingers Mark Olver (head) and Peter Mueller (concussion) have been on injured reserve since early October.

Stat Pack:
The Avs' Chuck Kobasew is just one goal shy of his 100th career goal.

Puck Drop: "I'll continue to tweak things to try and find the right (combinations)," Joe Sacco told the Denver Post, "but after a while you can only change so much. ... Sooner or later, you have to go out and you have to do it."

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '12EDM 2 at COL 3 - SOM. Hejduk
Feb 17 '12COL 3 at EDM 1M. Olver
Jan 31 '12COL 2 at EDM 3T. Hall
Dec 09 '11COL 1 at EDM 4B. Eager
Nov 26 '11EDM 2 at COL 5S. Elliott
Oct 28 '11EDM 3 at COL 1A. Sutton
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Smyth23121224+13323
R. Nugent-Hopkins23101424+2631
J. Eberle2371623+0613
T. Hall2271118+11242
S. Horcoff237916-2240
R. Jones236511+41010
T. Gilbert233811-3821
C. Potter16268-3410
A. Hemsky12268-1000
E. Belanger23066+21000
S. Gagner16066+21100
J. Petry16145+4810
T. Peckham19123+44600
L. Petrell19123-32100
L. Smid23112+01400
A. Lander22112-2400
C. Barker12101+31410
A. Sutton12101+03301
M. Paajarvi19011-3200
B. Eager16011-22500
C. Teubert7011+0600
A. Plante2011+1200
R. Whitney6000-1200
D. Hordichuk6000-2200
L. Omark5000-2200
T. Chorney4000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Khabibulin159-4-2274201.87.936
D. Dubnyk93-5-0252552.88.902
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Duchene239817-2441
M. Hejduk237815-41041
P. Stastny237714-5820
K. Quincey2331114-42231
R. O'Reilly2321214-5210
D. Jones237613-51221
R. Wilson2311112+32000
G. Landeskog235510+01011
E. Johnson21099-12400
S. O'Brien23178-14510
D. Winnik23347-41600
C. Kobasew22336-51001
J. Hejda23246-15400
J. Lindstrom16235-9010
J. McClement21314-1600
R. O'Byrne23123-11800
T. Galiardi20123-5800
S. Elliott1101+1001
C. McLeod20011-23500
K. Porter9000-5000
B. Yip3000+0200
P. Mueller3000+0000
M. Hunwick2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov166-9-1494713.13.896
J. Giguere84-3-0141841.85.924