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Oilers at Avalanche preview

Edmonton seeks fourth consecutive victory; Rantanen eyes point in 12th straight for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

OILERS (16-12-2) at AVALANCHE (17-8-5)

9 p.m. ET; ALT, SNW, NHL.TV


The Game

The Edmonton Oilers will try for their fourth straight win and seventh victory in eight games when they visit the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

The Oilers are 6-1-0 in their past seven games and 7-2-1 under coach Ken Hitchcock, who replaced Todd McLellan on Nov. 20.

Goalie Mikko Koskinen will start for Edmonton. Koskinen is 5-1-1 with two shutouts and a .942 save percentage in his past seven starts. He is second in the NHL in goals-against average (2.06), tied for second in shutouts (three) and tied for third in save percentage (.929) among goalies with at least 14 starts.

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen will try to extend his point streak to 12 games. He has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in an 11-game streak and leads the NHL in scoring (48 points) and assists (36).

Colorado is 10-2-2 in its past 14 games.


Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak and 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in his past 12 games.

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in his past 11 games. His 45 points (20 goals, 25 assists) are tied for second in the NHL in scoring with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov).


They said it

"I've coached a lot of games against these guys and they only need a sniff and they're on the goal. What's unique about the line is they can beat you off the rush and they can beat you on the cycle. There's not many lines that can do both." -- Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock on Colorado's top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen

"[The Oilers] have a new coach and a new commitment to their defensive game. They haven't been allowing any goals lately, so it's going to be a tough test." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar


Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Alex Chiasson

Jujhar Khaira -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jesse Puljujarvi

Valentin Zykov -- Ryan Spooner -- Ty Rattie

Milan Lucic -- Kyle Brodziak -- Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Kevin Gravel -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Jason Garrison, Cooper Marody, Chris Wideman

Injured: Drake Caggiula (hand), Tobias Rieder (upper body), Andrej Sekera (Achilles)


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Sven Andrighetto

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Matt Calvert

A.J. Greer -- Colin Wilson -- Gabriel Bourque

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole - Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth -- Nikita Zadorov

Semyon Varlamov

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Mark Alt

Injured: Mark Barberio (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder), Alexander Kerfoot (undisclosed)


Status report

Wilson will move from second-line right wing to fourth-line center with Bourque and Greer, who was recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League. … Kamensky will have shoulder surgery and possibly miss the rest of the season.


Stat pack

Draisaitl, who will play his 300th NHL game, has 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in his past 13 games. … Landeskog has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in his past 11 games.

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