The Colorado Avalanche will play its second outing of its current five-game road trip at the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. The Avs defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 on Tuesday for their third win in a row and first shutout of the season, putting the club in second place in the Central Division with an 11-5-2 record and 24 points. The club's point total also puts the Avs in a tie for third place in the Western Conference with the 11-6-2 Arizona Coyotes.
Nathan MacKinnon (26 points--11 goals, 15 assists) and Cale Makar (18 points--five goals, 13 assists) continue to lead Colorado offensively after 18 games. Joonas Donskoi has notched 14 points (nine goals, five assists) to take third while Nazem Kadri has recorded the fourth-most points with 13 (six goals, seven assists).
In the six games in November so far, Nathan MacKinnon has tallied a team-high nine points (four goals, five assists), followed by Cale Makar's eight points (four goals, four assists) and Joonas Donskoi's six points (four goals, two assists). MacKinnon's nine points put him in a tie for fourth-most points this month in the NHL.
The Oilers are off to a hot start after 20 games, owning a 12-6-2 record so far in this campaign. Edmonton fell to the San Jose Sharks 6-3 on the road on Tuesday after the Sharks notched four goals in the first 22 minutes of the game. The club's 26 points put the Oilers in a tie with the Boston Bruins for fourth place in the NHL.
Thursday's contest is the first of a two-game homestand for Edmonton before the team heads on a five-game road trip that will end against the Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Nov. 27 and mark Colorado's first home game after its own five-game road trip. Two of the three matchups in these clubs' season-series will come this month, while the third will be played in Edmonton on March 25.
Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers
Rogers Place | Edmonton, Alberta
Avalanche defenseman Kevin Connauton is from Edmonton, and center Tyson Jost is from St. Albert… Avs defenseman Cale Makar is from Calgary and played for the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League from 2014-2017… Assistant coach Nolan Pratt is from Fort McMurray, Alberta, and spent part of his childhood in Edmonton... Colorado assistant Coach Ray Bennett is from Innisfail, Alberta…
The Avs own an all-time 77-74-13 record against the Oilers, including a 65-44-11 mark since moving to Colorado in 1995. Since becoming the Avalanche, Colorado has gone 30-21-8 as the visiting team against Edmonton. The Avs won the only matchup on Edmonton's home ice last season, defeating the Oilers 4-1 on Nov. 11. Colorado fell to Edmonton 6-4 on Dec. 11 before winning the final contest of the season-series 6-2 on April 2.
Avs left wing Gabriel Landeskog led the team last year in points against the Oilers, scoring seven (two goals, five assists) in three games. Mikko Rantanen played in only two of the contests versus Edmonton last season, but still notched six points (two goals, four assists) to follow Landeskog. Nathan MacKinnon rounded out the top three by tallying five points (one goal, four assists) over the three-game series.
Goaltender Antoine Bibeau was recalled from the Colorado Eagles, and forward Logan O'Connor was reassigned on Wednesday.
Philipp Grubauer (lower-body) and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (concussion protocol) both skated for the third day in a row while traveling with the team on Wednesday…Nikita Zadorov is week-to-week after receiving surgery on a broken jaw last week…Colin Wilson is day-to-day with a lower-body injury…Mikko Rantanen is week-to-week with a lower-body injury…Gabriel Landeskog is out of the lineup indefinitely with a lower-body injury.
SCOUTING THE OILERS
Edmonton remains in first place in the Pacific Division despite falling at the Sharks 6-3 on Tuesday. The Oilers have earned 26 of a possible 40 points this season and own a 12-6-2 record overall, with six of the club's wins coming at home. Edmonton has played two more games than Colorado this season and is in second place in the Western Conference behind the defending champion St. Louis Blues. The Oilers also hold the second-best power-play percentage in the league, converting 28.1 percent of the time, behind only the Boston Bruins with 30.5 percent. Currently, two Oilers players are in the top five for most points in the league, with Leon Draisaitl (36 points) in first place and Connor McDavid (31 points) tied for second.
Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins led the club last campaign by recording five points (two goals, three assists) against the Avs and a team-high two points (one goal, one assist) on power-plays. Defenseman Darnell Nurse (two goals, one assist) and center Leon Draisaitl (one goal, two assists) each tallied three points to tie them for second versus Colorado. Additionally, Nurse was the leading shot-taker against the Avalanche, taking 11 shots-on-goal over three games.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Leon Draisaitl
Oilers center Leon Draisaitl has recorded a league-high 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) this season. His 15 goals also put him in second place for most markers in the league behind Boston's David Pastrnak. Draisaitl is also second in the NHL with 21 assists. After Tuesday's matchup with the Sharks, he extended his current point streak to 10 games.
Draisaitl was selected third overall in the 2014 draft by the Oilers and is now in his sixth season with the club. He has played in 371 career matchups and recorded 348 total points (140 goals, 208 assists) in that time. Since the 2014-15 campaign, Draisaitl's first NHL season, he is the second leading point-getter for the Oilers behind McDavid. In that timeframe, he has played in 12 contests against the Avalanche and is second among Edmonton skaters with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) and has the most assists of any Oilers player since 2014.
After stepping in for Pavel Francouz on Tuesday, Adam Werner played in his first career NHL game and first NHL win by making 40 saves to help bring Colorado the victory. Werner was a fifth-round draft pick (131st overall) for the Avs in 2016 and is in his first year in North America. He has played nine games for the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles this season with a 5-4-0 record, giving him a 2.88 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in the AHL.
Colorado holds the second-best penalty-kill percentage in the league as the visiting team, killing 90.3 percent of its penalties. The only team better at killing penalties on the road is Edmonton, which holds a 91.9 percent penalty-kill.
Matt Calvert record his 99th and 100th career assists on Tuesday in Winnipeg. Calvert now has a total of 187 points (87 goals, 100 assists) in 516 NHL games since his debut in the 2010-11 campaign. This is Calvert's second season with the Avs after spending the previous eight seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. So far this year, he has tallied 12 points (four goals, eight assists) over 18 games.
The Avs registered their first shutout of the season on Tuesday against Winnipeg…Colorado has a 5-3-1 record as the visiting team, putting the club in a five-way tie for sixth place in the NHL in points on the road (11)…Cale Makar is on a three-game goal streak after scoring four times in the last three games…Nazem Kadri is on a three-game point and assist streak with three assists and four total points in the last three…Makar leads all rookies in the NHL with 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in his first 18 games…Colorado has 66 goals-for this season, which is the fourth-highest in the NHL behind the Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs…The Avs are playing a season-long four games in a row against Canadian teams on their current road trip…Colorado faces off next against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.