Oilers-Avalanche Preview

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t experienced much success since a

lopsided victory over the Colorado Avalanche earlier this month,

and a lackluster power play hasn’t helped.

The Avalanche have also had some significant issues with that

unit of late and will try to solve their struggles while snapping a

four-game skid to the Oilers on Thursday night.

Edmonton (11-22-3) is 1-4-1 since its 8-2 victory over Colorado

on Dec. 5 and is on the verge of matching its longest skid of the

season after a 3-0 loss at Los Angeles on Tuesday. The Oilers have

been outscored 14-4 during their four consecutive defeats and gone

0 for 9 on the power play.

“The last few games, we’ve been playing really good defensive

teams. (Colorado) is good at keeping the puck out of the net too,”

forward Jordan Eberle said. “Anytime a team beats you like we did

to them, you want to come back with a good response, especially in

your own building. We expect a different game for sure. For us,

we’ve lost four in a row now. We’ve got to get back on track.”

Edmonton is also 1 for 18 with a man advantage in its last six

games and will seek to avoid its fourth five-game losing streak of

the season when it heads into Colorado. The Oilers have also been

outscored 10-2 during three consecutive road defeats.

“We’ve just got to expect more from ourselves,” forward David

Perron said. “We can’t just wait for bounces to happen. … It’s

about working hard, and when you do that, everything happens the

right way.”

The Avalanche (22-10-1), meanwhile, are 1 for 37 with a man

advantage since Nov. 23 and snapped an 11-game streak without a

power-play goal in a 3-2 loss at Dallas on Tuesday. Colorado

allowed the tiebreaking goal with 2:52 remaining after beating the

Stars 6-2 at home Monday.

“I think we’re getting there. I think our power play is getting

the momentum that we so badly need from it,” captain Gabriel

Landeskog said. “Once we get one, we know we can get more from


The Avalanche, 3-4-1 this month, have been outscored 22-7 in

their last four games against Edmonton, including two at the Pepsi


The Oilers scored three goals in the opening period in the Dec.

5 victory and four in the final 12 minutes. Taylor Hall recorded

his fourth career hat trick and an assist in the win.

“We obviously want to change our record against them,” Colorado

forward Matt Duchene said. “We made it too easy on them (in the

loss earlier this month). We gave them the puck too much. If we

play our style of hockey and we play our A game, it’ll give us our

best chance to win.”

Duchene has three goals and four assists in his last four games

but he has only one assist in his past three versus Edmonton. P.A.

Parenteau has five goals and one assist in his last seven


Hall’s nine career goals and 19 points against Colorado are his

most versus any opponent. He has four goals and six assists during

the four-game win streak in the series.

Eberle has four goals and three assists during that run, and 13

points (seven goals, six assists) in his last 10 matchups. Ales

Hemsky has four goals and four assists during a five-game point

streak against the Avalanche.