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Oilers visit Colorado tonight

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers travel to the United States for the first time this 2006-07 season to meet division rivals the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight's game is on Hockey Night in Canada and starts at 8:00 p.m. MDT.

The Oilers have had an interesting start to the season. After two tight-checking games with the Calgary Flames, the Oilers then played a wide-open run-and-gun affair against the San Jose Sharks Thursday night. After initially falling behind 4-1, the team came back with five unanswered goals to ultimately win 6-4.

Colorado has been involved in a number of close games to open the 06-07 campaign. They dropped their home and season opener on October 4 against Dallas after Darryl Sydor scored 2:07 into overtime.

The next night, the Stars travelled to Minnesota and fell in extra time again. This time, Todd White scored 1:03 into the fourth period. Last Sunday, the Avs defeated Vancouver 3-2 on the strength of two goals from Marek Svatos for their first win of the year.

OILERS TO WATCH: Petr Sykora is off to a strong start this season for Edmonton, particularly on the power play. He is tied for the team lead with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and four of those points have come with the man advantage... Ryan Smyth is tied for the team lead with five points. He netted four of those points last game and is on a two-game point-scoring streak.

AVALANCHE TO WATCH: Marek Svatos was so dangerous last season that he challenged Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby for Rookie-of-the-Year honours until a shoulder injury sidelined him for the final 20 games of the season. Up until that point, Svatos had 32 goals in 61 games. Svatos scored his first two of the season last game... Tied with Svatos for the team lead in points is Joe Sakic. He has a goal and two assists through three games.

ROSTER UPDATES: Edmonton - The Oilers are healthy. Colorado - Jordan Leopold (hernia) is out. Brad May (shoulder) is out. Cody McCormick (chest) is questionable. George Parros (bruised shoulder) is questionable. Pierre Turgeon (shoulder) is questionable.

FAST FACTS: Colorado's penalty kill is still perfect and, in fact, they are the only NHL team that has not allowed a power play goal (12-for-12)... The Avalanche franchise, dating back to 1979 has never gone four games into the season without allowing a power play goal... The Avalanche have taken 30 shots or more in each of its first three games. It's the first time they have done that since moving to Denver and first time overall since 1993-94... The Oilers are 48-44-8-1 all-time against the Avalanche/Nordiques franchise... After three games, only five Oilers have yet to register a point: Ethan Moreau, Marty Reasoner, Jason Smith, Fernando Pisani and Matt Greene.

UP NEXT: The Oilers open a home-and-home series with the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night at GM Place in Vancouver before returning home to play the Canucks Tuesday.
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