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Oilers set to conclude trip against Avalanche

by Deborah Francisco

OILERS (9-11-5) at AVALANCHE (10-10-4)


Last 10: Edmonton 3-5-2, Colorado 4-3-3

Season series: Edmonton leads the five-game series 2-1 so far with two more games still to be played between these Northwest Division rivals. In their last meeting on Feb. 16, Edmonton prevailed by a score of 6-4.

Big story: With the two points up for grabs, the Oilers could leapfrog past the Avalanche in the Northwest Division standings to overtake third place behind the Vancouver Canucks (28) and the Minnesota Wild (28). Colorado currently has 24 points and one game at hand on the Oilers.

Team Scope:

Oilers: The Oilers will wrap up a nine-game road trip on Tuesday in Denver. They are 1-5-1in their last six games, with their lone win coming in the form of a 6-5 victory over the National Hockey League leading Chicago Blackhawks. The Oilers were shut out twice in their last three games, but bounced back with six goals to edge the Blackhawks on Sunday.

"I thought it was just a great effort," captain Shawn Horcoff told the Oilers’ website. "I thought guys won battles. They really peppered us for a bit there, but they're a good team. It's not so much that we sat back. They just made plays."

The Oilers had five different players put up two points or more in the game, including Sam Gagner, who boasted a pair of goals.

Avalanche: Colorado has strung together back-to-back wins for the fourth time this season and is looking for its first three-game win streak of the season. Colorado defeated the Sharks in dramatic fashion on Sunday, with Matt Duchene banking home an overtime goal with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. The goal came so late that the play actually had to be reviewed first to make it definitive.

“It feels awesome,” Duchene told the Avs’ website. “I didn’t think it was going to count. I know the buzzer here sometimes is a little late. Obviously, you’re really excited at first, but [you’re] holding back a bit in case it doesn’t count.”

Who's hot: Matt Duchene has notched seven points (four goals, three assists) in just three games, including a pair of goals on Sunday. He leads the Avalanche in points so far this season with a total of 26. PA Parenteau, meanwhile, has 25 points on the season (10 goals, 15 assists) and a six-game point streak.

Injury report: Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk left Sunday’s game midway through the second period after a collision left him shaken up. While he didn’t suffer a serious injury on the play, his status for Tuesday is unknown. … Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk (torso) has missed the past four games and is listed as day-to-day. Forward Steve Downie (knee surgery) is out for the season.

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