(4-2-1, second place) @ Avs (3-4-0, fourth place)
1:00 p.m. MST | Sportsnet West
Top Story: Coming off a strong performance by the Oil's young nucleus (particularly the RNH line and goaltender Devan Dubnyk) against the hottest team in the NHL (San Jose) on Thursday, the Oilers will look to capitalize on an Avs line-up that is missing many of its top players including Captain Gabriel Landeskog, young emerging star Ryan O'Reilly as well as David Jones and Steve Downie.
The Oilers are saying:
"We assess the team in three different areas, we assess them in their five on five play, as lines and as D pairings, we assess them on their powerplay and we assess them penalty killing. The five on five game yesterday was the best numbers game for the Nugent-Hopkins line. They were 12-4 in scoring chances against an Olympic (caliber) line with Pavelski-Thornton-Marleau."
-- Ralph Krueger, when asked about the improved 5v5 performance of the Hall-RNH-Eberle line.
The Opponent is saying:
"There’s going to be adversity that we’re going to face throughout the year here in a shortened season. It seems like a lot of teams are going through what we’re going through with some injuries, especially to key players like (Gabriel Landeskog), it’s important for our guys to realize that we have the people in the room to step up, pick-up the slack and get the job done."
-- Joe Sacco, on the importance of getting a couple of wins in the first few games without Captain Gabriel Landeskog when faced with the possibility of not having his Captain for an extended period of time.
Key matchup: With so many key offensive players out of the line-up for the Avalanche, the key match-up for the Oil will be the match-ups of their forwards against the top two pairings of Avs blueliners. If they are able to create multiple match-ups for the RNH or Gagner lines against the Avs third-pairing, especially early in the game, they could have a chance to create some early distance on the scoreboard and control their own destiny for the afternoon.
Edmonton Oilers Injuries