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Oilers at Avalanche preview

Colorado can gain in Western wild-card race; Edmonton 2-4-2 in past eight

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (34-36-9) at AVALANCHE (36-29-14)

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

 

The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will try to tighten their hold on a Western Conference wild-card spot when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Pepsi Center on Tuesday.

The Avalanche, 6-0-2 in their past eight games, are two points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the West and three points behind the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card. Arizona hosts the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday and Dallas hosts the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Oilers were eliminated from playoff contention when Colorado earned a point in a 3-2 shootout loss at the St. Louis Blues on Monday. Edmonton has lost three straight (0-2-1) and is 2-4-2 in its past eight.

 

Players to watch

Oilers center Connor McDavid is one goal shy of an NHL season high and his 115 points (41 goals, 74 assists) are the most by an Edmonton player since Mark Messier had 129 (45 goals, 84 assists) in 1989-90.

Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer is 7-1-2 with a 1.48 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 10 starts.

 

They said it

"We still have a lot to play for, a lot of pride. It's what we're going to keep doing until the end this year." -- Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson

"I hope we're ready to go right from the drop of the puck. We've been really good at home, playing our game right from the drop of the puck and trying to build a lead early. That's the mentality, we've got to be aggressors." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Zack Kassian

Joseph Gambardella -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Sam Gagner

Milan Lucic -- Colby Cave - Alex Chiasson

Ty Rattie - Brad Malone -- Josh Currie

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Darnell Nurse -- Kris Russell

Andrej Sekera -- Matt Benning

Mikko Koskinen

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Kevin Gravel, Jujhar Khaira, Alexander Petrovic, Tobias Rieder

Injured: Kyle Brodziak (undisclosed), Jesse Puljujarvi (lower body)

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Alexander Kerfoot -- Nathan MacKinnon -- J.T. Compher

Gabriel Landeskog -- Carl Soderberg - Colin Wilson

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Matt Calvert

Sven Andrighetto - Derick Brassard -- Gabriel Bourque

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Patrik Nemeth

Philipp Grubauer

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Andrew Agozzino, Mark Barberio, Ryan Graves

Injured: Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder), Mikko Rantanen (upper body)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate.

 

Stat pack

Draisaitl has 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in his past 24 games and his 47 goals are the most by an Oilers player since Jimmy Carson had 49 in 1988-89. … MacKinnon has five points (two goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak and needs one point for 400 in the NHL. … Barrie has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past nine games.

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