The Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers wrap up a three-game season series on Saturday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton. It's the second half of a home-and-home set between the two teams, who met in Denver on Thursday at Pepsi Center. The Oilers came from behind to win 7-4 in the first half of the series.
"We know this is a dangerous team. We know we have to be ready to check, just like we were [Thursday] night," said head coach Jared Bednar before the team left for Edmonton on Friday. "[MacKinnon's] line in particular, shutting down the [Connor] McDavid line early and getting a couple opportunities themselves. Our game plan isn't going to change. We looked at them in-depth before we played them, and we just have to be ready to compete and make sure we're playing a full 60 minutes."
The Avs are 0-2-0 this season against the Oilers. They're 62-41-10 all-time against Edmonton, which includes a 28-20-7 mark on the road in the overall series. The Avs have won three of the last four meetings in Edmonton, but this will be the first time they're playing at the new Rogers Place.
Video: Keefe and Rycroft preview Saturday's game
Last Time Out/Last Time They Met
The Avalanche had a 2-1 lead after the first period and a 4-2 edge after 40 minutes, but the Oilers stormed back in the third frame, scoring five unanswered goals to take a 7-4 win. Jordan Eberle (two goals, one assist) and Andrej Sekera (one goal, two assists) paced the Oilers with three points each. Mikko Rantanen scored twice, and Joe Colborne and Nathan MacKinnon each added two assists for Colorado. The Oilers outshot the Avs 30-21, including by a 15-6 margin in the final stanza.
What to Watch
Saturday's game will be the first for the Avalanche at Rogers Place, the new $483 million home of the Oilers. Edmonton's former arena, Rexall Place, which opened in 1974 and was 485,000 square feet, was the second-smallest and second-oldest arena in the NHL--Winnipeg's MTS Centre is 440,000 square feet and the Rangers' Madison Square Garden opened in 1968.
Rogers Place is an expansive 819,200 square feet and was designed in the shape of an oil drop. It can seat 18,641 for hockey and features the largest high-definition center-hung scoreboard in the NHL.
The Oilers are 20-12-4 overall in their new home this season and are amid a stretch in which they play 13 of their last 18 games in Edmonton, including 11-of-13 in the month of March. Since March 4, when the stretch began, the Oilers' 11 points (5-2-1 record) lead the league in points earned at home.
- Leon Draisaitl enters Saturday's game on a six-game point streak (three goals, 10 assists) in which he's tallied multi-point games in each contest, making him the first Edmonton player with six straight multi-point games since Mark Messier from Jan. 16-30, 1990.
- Nathan MacKinnon recorded his 200th career NHL point against Edmonton on Thursday, bringing his point total for the season to a team-leading 47. MacKinnon is the second player from the 2013 draft class to reach the 200-point milestone, accomplishing the feat in 11 fewer games than Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan.
Player to Watch
Colorado: Right wing Mikko Rantanen
The Avs rookie registered two goals against the Oilers on Thursday night and now has four points (two goals, two assists) in two career games against Edmonton, his highest total against a single opponent.
Edmonton: Right wing Jordan Eberle
Eberle notched two goals and an assist in Thursday's meeting with the Avs and now has 14 goals and 13 assists in 28 career games against Colorado. His 27 points rank fifth in Oilers history against the Avalanche.
Calvin Pickard will get the nod in net, his 41st start of the season. Pickard is 2-0-0 against the Oilers in his career, with 25 and 26-save performances in 3-2 wins over Edmonton on Feb. 20, 2016 and March 20, 2016.
Saturday night's game between the Avs and Oilers begins at 8 p.m. MT. The contest can be watched live on Altitude TV, and the radio broadcast can be heard on Altitude Sports Radio AM950 and online at ColoradoAvalanche.com.