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Oilers, Avs meet at 1:00 p.m. on CBC

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers conclude their two-game homestand this afternoon in a key Northwest Division match-up against the Colorado Avalanche.

Both the Oilers and Avs are tied at 54 points apiece and ninth in the Western Conference - six points behind the eighth-place Minnesota Wild.

Colorado has only won one of its past three games and fell 5-3 to the Wild this past Thursday.

The Oilers had a two-game winning streak snapped Thursday with a 5-3 loss to Vancouver.

After defeating the Avs in each of the first two meetings between the clubs, Colorado has rebounded to win three straight over Edmonton. The last meeting between the two teams was a 7-6 Avalanche win at Rexall Place back on December 19.

OILERS TO WATCH: With Jarret Stoll on the shelf, it should mark the return of Petr Nedved to the Oilers lineup. In 10 games so far with the Oilers, Nedved has a goal and four assists for five points. He missed the team's last three games as a healthy scratch... Ales Hemsky has picked up eight points and seven assists during his current three-game scoring streak... Marty Reasoner has a goal and two assists in his last two games... Marc-Andre Bergeron has points in five of his last 11 games. All six points were registered while on the power play.

AVALANCHE TO WATCH: Rookie forward Wojtek Wolski has picked up five points (1g, 4a) during his current four-game scoring streak... Defenceman Jordan Leopold has been solid since returning from injury last weekend. Leopold missed the first 25 games of the season after hernia surgery in the off-season and then returned for five games before encountering a groin injury. In the five games since his return from the groin injury, Leopold has a goal and two assists for three points.

ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton - Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out. Daniel Tjarnqvist (inflamed pubic bone) is questionable. Jarret Stoll (mild concussion) is out; Colorado - Patrice Brisebois (back) is out. John-Michael Liles (foot) is out. Brad May (shoulder) is out.

FAST FACTS: Shawn Horcoff is playing in his 400th career game in the NHL and as an Oiler tonight... Avs defenceman Karlis Skrastins has played 484 straight games which means he's only two games away from the NHL record for consecutive games played for a defenceman. That record was set by Tim Horton from Feb. 11 1961 through Feb. 4 1968... Colorado's power play has been clicking of late: 7-for-28 over the past nine games. On the PK, they've only allowed two power play goals in their past six (24-for-26, 92.3%)... Colorado is fourth in the Western Conference in goals-per-game at 3.06 but when they score less than four in a game they have a record of 10-16-3.

QUOTABLE: "I think we all realize that we've got to get the points (in games within our division). No better place to start than (today) in Colorado. It'll be a huge game and we'll be fired up and ready."
- Oilers assistant coach Charlie Huddy on today's game.
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