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Game Thread: Oilers at Avs - Beat'em While They're Hurting

The Oil head to Denver in an afternoon tilt with the Landeskog/O'Reilly/Jones-less Avalanche.

Doug Pensinger

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

Devan Dubnyk

Scratches: Ben Eager, Corey Potter, Shawn Horcoff

Broadcast Information

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.