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Oilers look to get back on track

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers look to get back on the winning side of things tonight in a key intra-divisional match-up with the Colorado Avalanche.

This evening, the Oilers play the sixth game of their seven-game homestand. In their previous five games, the team has gotten at least a point with a 4-0-1 record. Dating back to their last meeting with the Avalanche at Denver on November 13, the Oilers are 5-0-1 in their last six games.

That loss to Edmonton was part of a four-game losing streak for Colorado but theyve started to bounce back since then with a 4-2-0 record in their past six games. The Avs are coming off a 5-2 beating at the hands of the Calgary Flames Tuesday night, however.

OILERS TO WATCH: Marty Reasoner is playing his best hockey of the season right now. In the last two games, Reasoner has two goals and an assist while playing mainly with Joffrey Lupul and Raffi Torres After being blanked for two straight games, Ryan Smyth got back on the offensive Tuesday against Anaheim with a goal. Smyth leads the Oilers with 15 goals through 23 games and is second on the team with 21 points.

AVALANCHE TO WATCH: As rookies, Paul Stastny and Wojtek Wolski are proving to be quite the dynamic duo. With 19 points in 24 games, Stastny ranks second on the team and third among rookies in points. Wolski has seven goals and 16 points to rank fourth among rookies Leading the team in points is a familiar face, Joe Sakic with 24 points through 24 games. Other offensive weapons on the Avalanche include Marek Svatos, Andrew Brunette, Milan Hejduk, Tyler Arnason and defenceman John-Michael Liles.

POULIOT RECALLED: The Edmonton Oilers recalled centre Marc-Antoine Pouliot from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. Pouliot is expected to slot in with Toby Petersen and Petr Sykora to start. With 18 points in 18 games with Wilkes-Barre, Pouliot was third on the team in scoring.

  • More: Oilers recall Pouliot

  • STAIOS READY: This morning, Steve Staios said he was ready to get back into the lineup after missing the past two games with a knee injury. The two missed games were the first for Staios after playing 224 consecutive games dating back to the 2002-03 season.

    ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton – Ethan Moreau (shoulder) is out Ales Hemsky (shoulder) is out. Steve Staios (knee) has been upgraded to probable. Jussi Markkanen (knee) is questionable. Marc-Andre Bergeron (flu) is probable; Colorado – The Avalanche have a trio of long-term injuries. Jordan Leopold (hernia) is questionable, Brad May (shoulder) is out and Pierre Turgeon (shoulder) is out. All three have not yet played a game this season.

    FAST FACTS: Colorado is 2-0 in shootouts this season, with Joe Sakic scoring the winning goal both times Eight of the Avs last 11 games have been decided by one goal. Colorado is 5-6-2 in one-goal games this season The Avalanche are averaging 34.1 shots on goal per game, which is tops in the NHL Colorado averages 11.4 penalty minutes per game, second lowest in the league behind New Jersey With 929 career assists, Sakic is tied for 13th all-time in the NHL with Larry Murphy.

    The Oilers conclude their season-high seven-game homestand on Saturday night when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets. Game time is 6:00 p.m.
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