The Oil head to Denver in an afternoon tilt with the Landeskog/O'Reilly/Jones-less Avalanche.
After thoroughly outplaying the Avalanche in the first 40 minutes of their first meeting before falling back on their heels too much and having to depend on some excellent goaltending from Devan Dubnyk to preserve the victory in their first encounter with the Avs, the Oil will look to put forward a more complete 60 minute game and walk away with another regulation win over a division rival.
Expected Line Combinations
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Lennart Petrell
Teemu Hartikainen - Anton Lander - Darcy Hordichuk
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Justin Schultz - Nick Schultz
Ryan Whitney - Mark Fistric
Scratches: Ben Eager, Corey Potter, Shawn Horcoff
Pepsi Center, 1:00 pm MST
TV - Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
By The Numbers
One of the big stories for the Oilers after 7 games has been the play of goaltender Devan Dubnyk. Beyond one horrendous period against the San Jose Sharks, DD has given the Oilers the presence they need between the pipes to be competitive. His .921% is good for 11th in the NHL to-date and his .900 Sv% while killing penalties represents an improvement of nearly 50 points (.050%) above his 2011/12 numbers.
A major story that has not yet begun to receive the coverage it deserves (if they can maintain this level of performance in the long-term) is the Hall-RNH-Eberle line's ability to survive at even strength against some serious opposition. This was not the case last year. There doesn't appear to be a great disparity in the difficulty of assignments among the Oil's top 9 forwards to date this season, but in terms of their performance against the opposition, 4-93-14 have held their own with some of the best lines in the league, even out-chancing on of the hottest lines in hockey on Thursday in San Jose.