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Game Day: Avalanche at Oilers

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers and Rexall Place meet their first repeat opponent of the 2005-06 campaign tonight when the Colorado Avalanche come to town. The Oilers are currently in a stretch where they have failed to win a game in five outings with losses against Los Angeles, Calgary and Dallas plus an overtime defeat versus Phoenix. They look to gain some momentum tonight prior to embarking on a three-game road trip.

Colorado has had a slow start to the year with two wins in six games. They have dropped three straight games, including a 3-2 shootout defeat versus Chicago, since a 7-3 drubbing of the Flames back on October 10.

OILERS NOTES: Marty Reasoner broke out offensively on Tuesday night against Phoenix setting up one goal and scoring another in the third period to force overtime. Centre Jarret Stoll sits in a tie for the team lead in scoring with six points. He has one goal and five assists through eight games... Michael Peca recorded his first goal as an Oiler Tuesday night... Five Oilers were named among the list of potential players for the 2006 Olympics in Italy including Peca, Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Steve Staios and Chris Pronger.

Offensive defenceman John-Michael Liles is off to a good start for Colorado. In six games, he has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists)... Alex Tanguay has yet to score a goal this year but has seven assists in six games, including three Wednesday night versus Los Angeles. Rob Blake has struggled early on with a minus-eight rating in his six outings but is sure to turn his game around soon... Rookie Wojtech Wolski has four points (1g, 3a) in five games. Rookie goaltender Peter Budaj has seen limited action so far this year with only two games but has impressed. He hasnt lost in regulation time and has a 1.92 goals-against average plus .931 save percentage.

Edmonton: Ryan Smyth (sprained MCL) is out. Shawn Horcoff (right shoulder sprain) returned last night in Calgary; Todd Harvey (high-ankle sprain) is out.; Colorado: Milan Hejduk (knee) is out; Brad May (groin) returned to action Wednesday for the Avs.

Tonight is the first of 12 dates where the Oilers will be wearing their third jerseys, unveiled at the beginning of the 2001-02 season. The next time theyll don their alternate colours is November 19 vs. Chicago... Having played in Calgary last night, tonight is also the third of 13 times this season that the Oilers will play back-to-back games. Edmonton split their first back-to-back set in Anaheim and Los Angeles October 10 and 11 but dropped both ends this past Friday and Saturday at home to Dallas and in Calgary respectively... Colorados next win will be its 900th all-time dating back to when the franchise was in Quebec... With a goal Wednesday, Joe Sakic moved ahead of Maurice "The Rocket" Richard with his 545th career goal. He is now 21st in NHL history.

The Oilers will embark on a three-game road trip following tonights game beginning in Colorado against these same Avalanche on Tuesday, October 25. In all, 10 of their next 11 games will be away from home with the only home date being Tuesday, November 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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