Henrik Sedin seems resigned to the fate of the Vancouver Canucks, who have begun prepping for the future by adding highly touted Nikita Tryamkin to the active roster.
The Edmonton Oilers also hope their best days are ahead behind rookie Connor McDavid.
Tryamkin will try to build on his promising debut Friday night when the visiting Canucks look to avoid their third straight loss with a seventh victory in eight meetings with the Oilers.
Plenty of eyes were on the 6-foot-7 Tryamkin on Wednesday when he contributed an assist in a 3-1 home loss to Colorado. Plenty of hype has surrounded the Russian since he signed with Vancouver on March 8 after finishing with 11 points in 53 games in the KHL.
The Canucks eased the 21-year-old defenseman in with some practice time before playing him 11 minutes against the Avalanche. That time is likely to increase over the final 13 games.
“I really enjoyed my first game,” he told the team's official website through an interpreter. “The rink was smaller, everything was faster. … I needed more time to adapt to the new fast pace.”
Tryamkin assisted on Sedin's early goal before Colorado scored the next three to move into the Western Conference's last wild-card spot and drop Vancouver 10 points back. The Canucks need an unlikely turn of events to avoid missing the playoffs for the second time in three years.
“It would have been tougher if it would have been a Stanley Cup contender going through this,” Sedin said after the team's second straight loss and 14th in 21 games. “We know where we are. It's tough to win games in this league. We are trying to understand that and get better.”
Vancouver (27-30-12) will try to improve to 7-0-1 against Edmonton since the start of the 2014-15 season. Following a 2-1 overtime home loss to the Oilers on Oct. 18, Jannik Hansen scored his second goal of the game at 4:01 of the extra period in a 2-1 home victory over Edmonton on Dec. 26.
Edmonton (28-38-7) is tied with Winnipeg for the fewest points in the West, but has its own reasons to be excited about the future. McDavid, a Calder Trophy candidate, recorded two assists in Wednesday's 6-4 home win over St. Louis that snapped a two-game losing streak.
McDavid has nine goals and 17 assists in 23 games since missing three months with a broken clavicle. He assisted on Nail Yakupov's goal in the first meeting with Vancouver before Lauri Korpikoski scored in OT to end a five-game skid in the series.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two power-play goals Wednesday, while Mark Letestu added one with a man advantage and another into an empty net. The Oilers broke through with their first four-power-play goal effort since January 2013 after going 4 for 53 in their previous 20 games.
“It's something we've been harping on,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “It hasn't been good enough lately and, we broke out. We won some battles, took some shots and it paid off.''
The Canucks have killed 25 of 29 penalties over their last 12 games. However, they haven't converted on 17 power-play chances in the past five and average 2.36 goals, among the worst marks in the NHL.
Vancouver has won in its last three visits to Rexall Place.