Avalanche-Oilers Preview

While the playoff-bound Colorado Avalanche saw their lengthy winning streak come to an end last time out, they still managed to pick up a point.

They’ve come away empty in their last few visits to Edmonton.

Looking to slow down Taylor Hall, Colorado tries to avoid a fourth consecutive road loss to the last-place Oilers on Tuesday night.

The Avalanche (50-21-7) put together six consecutive victories before closing their home schedule with Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Pittsburgh. Ryan O’Reilly scored his team-leading 28th goal early in the third period and Patrick Bordeleau tied things up with just over three minutes left in regulation.

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves against the Penguins, who were without their three leading scorers in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz.

"It was a very important point," coach Patrick Roy, whose team won 4-0 at St. Louis the day before, told the NHL’s official website. "It might surprise you, but I’m happy with our game. We played seven games in 12 days, our guys played a very emotional game yesterday and when we saw Crosby being out of the lineup, Kunitz not in the lineup and on and on, I think it was just a normal reaction that maybe we have an easier game.

"We’re thinking of doing the same at the end depending where we are in the standings."

With 107 points, Colorado is four behind the Central Division-leading Blues and two in front of third-place Chicago with four games remaining. While the Avalanche finish the season with visits to Vancouver, San Jose and Anaheim, they will first try to get by the Oilers (28-42-9).

Colorado split two meetings with Edmonton in December, with each team winning at home. Varlamov allowed all eight goals – a career worst – in an 8-2 loss at Rexall Place, where the Avalanche have dropped five of six, including three straight by a combined 18-7 score.

Hall had three goals and an assist in Colorado’s last visit, and he’s posted five goals and seven assists during a five-game point streak in the series. The fourth-year star has 21 points in 15 career games against the Avalanche.

Hall, leading the team with 77 points, has nine in four games this month and 15 in his last 11. He tallied a goal and two assists while Jordan Eberle added one of each in Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Pacific Division-leading Ducks.

Eberle has also been hot, posting 14 points during a nine-game stretch.

"Playing the role of spoilers can be a lot of fun," Hall said. "To get on a team that really needed those points tonight was good. … It was a learning game for us. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but for the most part we shut them down."

Viktor Fasth made 34 saves against his former team, improving to 3-2-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average since joining the Oilers last month. Teammate Ben Scrivens is 1-4-0 with a 4.15 GAA during a six-game stretch at home.

Varlamov, who tied Roy’s franchise record by earning his 40th victory Saturday, will reportedly be rested with veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere getting the start in this game. Giguere last played March 18, giving up five goals on 35 shots in a 6-3 loss to Montreal.

Colorado has averaged 3.7 goals during a 7-1-1 stretch away from home. Edmonton has dropped 45 of 53 when allowing at least three goals.