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Oilers-Avalanche Preview @NHL
Oilers-Avalanche Preview

GAME: Edmonton Oilers (9-9-1) at Colorado Avalanche (9-5-2).

TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EST.

A little more than a month into the season and the Edmonton Oilers and the Colorado Avalanche already meet for the fourth time when the Northwest Division rivals face off at the Pepsi Center.

Edmonton defeated Colorado 4-3 at home in the season opener for both teams on Oct. 5, but the Avalanche have taken the last two meetings.

Milan Hejduk scored twice in his season debut on Oct. 21, helping Colorado to a 7-1 rout at Edmonton, and Patrice Brisebois and Ian Laperriere each scored in the final minute to lead the Avs to a 5-3 home victory over the Oilers four days later.

Colorado won two straight and six of seven overall before giving up four first-period goals in a 5-3 loss at Calgary on Saturday.

Alex Tanguay scored twice in the second period, the first on a penalty shot, as the Avalanche failed to record at least one point for the first time in eight games (6-1-1).

"We got caught sleeping," said Tanguay, who has four goals in three games. "We've been playing so well in the first period over the course of the last 10 games and tonight, maybe we were a little over confident."

The loss snapped a six-game win streak for goaltender David Aebischer, who was pulled at 14:59 of the first period after allowing three goals on eight shots. He is 2-1 with a 2.70 goals-against average in the first three meetings with the Oilers and is 6-2 with a 1.82 GAA in nine career games against them.

Unless coach Craig MacTavish decides to give rookie Michael Morrison his first NHL start, Jussi Markkanen will make his 15th straight start for the Oilers.

Markkanen gave up all three goals in the first period Sunday as Edmonton continued a five-game road trip with a 3-1 loss to Chicago.

"I guess I wasn't ready to play in the first period," Markkanen said. "I felt pretty good and normal, but I was just a bit late on the first one. The second one, I kind of had no patience and left the post early. The third one, I didn't see it. I think it went under my arm."

Fernando Pisani scored the lone goal for the Oilers, who have scored five goals in losing three of four on the trip.

After playing 14 of its first 20 games on the road, Edmonton plays six of its next eight at home starting Thursday against Detroit.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 13): Oilers - 19 points, 4th place, 5 PB, Northwest Division. Avalanche - 20 points, 3rd place, 4 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Oilers - Raffi Torres, 9 goals; Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky, 12 assists; Ryan Smyth and Horcoff, 16 points; Ethan Moreau, 41 PIM. Avalanche - Tanguay, Marek Svatos and Antti Laaksonen, 7 goals; Tanguay and John-Michael Liles, 11 assists; Tanguay, 18 points; Ian Laperriere, 34 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 13): Oilers - Power play: 16.2 percent (19 for 117), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.7 percent (96 for 116), 13th. Avalanche - Power play: 20.1 percent (22 for 109), tied for 6th. Penalty killing: 87.2 percent (89 for 102), 3rd.

GOALTENDERS: Oilers - Markkanen (8-8-1, 0 SO, 2.75 GAA); Morrison (0-0-0, 0.00). Avalanche - Aebischer (8-3-0, 3.29); Peter Budaj (1-2-2, 2.69).

SEASON SERIES: Avalanche, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 25; Avalanche, 5-3. At Denver, Brisebois snapped a tie with 48 seconds left, and Laperriere closed the scoring 19 seconds later as Edmonton lost its seventh straight.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Oilers - 6-7-0 on the road; Avalanche - 6-2-2 at home.

Associated Press
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