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Oilers @ Avalanche Preview: Can Oilers Make It Three In A Row?

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Monday's convincing win versus Blackhawks has Oilers eyeing a three game winning streak

Oilers visit Matt Duchene (7-5-12 in fourteen GP) and the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Denver
Oilers visit Matt Duchene (7-5-12 in fourteen GP) and the Colorado Avalanche tonight in Denver
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Edmonton

@

Colorado
11-8-1, 23 points, 1.15 p/g Ranks 9-9-0, 18 points, 1 p/g
Pacific Division - 1st Central Division, 7th
12th P/G 23rd
11th ST 21st
9th S/G 20th
13th Goal 21st
8 PM MDT
TV -  Sportsnet West
Radio - 630 CHED
Pepsi Center

The opposing view

PROJECTED LINES
FORWARDS

Milan Lucic - Connor McDavid - Jesse Puljujarvi
Patrick Maroon - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Zack Kassian - Leon Draisaitl - Anton Slepyshev
Matt Hendricks - Drake Caggiula - Tyler Pitlick

DEFENCE
Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Matthew Benning

GOAL
Cam Talbot
Jonas Gustavsson

Win Over Chicago Makes It Two In A Row

Five goals for the Oilers?

A shutout?

Four different Oilers scored, including Leon Draisaitl with a two-piece en route to Edmonton's 5-0 blanking of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Oscar Klefbom, Anton Slepyshev and Andrej Sekera each got in on a goal as Cam Talbot turned away 31 shots en route to his third shutout of the season.  Connor McDavid fished out a pair of assists, and he now leads the NHL in assists (16) and points (24) after 20 games.  He's 19.  There's not a line that goes here that rhymes with anything.  It's (mostly) all good after you take down the Western Conference leading club from Chicago with a couple of goals to spare.

The Oilers begin a two game road trip that begins in Colorado tonight.

Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"I felt good from the first period, right off the bat...Obviously, we gave Toews a grade-A shot right off the bat.  When you make a save like that it kind of just snowballs though there and you feel confident throughout the game.  I think my start of the game was where it needed to be and it just carried through from there.."

Source

That's Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot on his 31-save performance on Monday night.

HERE, HAVE A TROPHY

Ten wins on the year, three by shutout.  After falling back to Earth after a hot October, Talbot's last two games have him stopping 62 of 64 shots.

The opponents are saying

"It's time to start passing teams.  It took us a while to get back to .500 again, and it's important to get on a roll here...We have to string some wins together.  I think that's our first win streak in a handful of games.  It's good to do that but we have to keep it going and try to win more games and more games....and get back into the thick of things in the playoffs."  Source

That's Avalanche defenceman Erik Johnson on getting Colorado back into the playoff hunt.

The Avalanche don't score, man.  They average 27th in the league, with 39 goals scored in 18 games.  That's good for a very New Jersey Devils-like 2.17 goals per game.

Have some of this

  • DADS ON BOARD - This is the trip where the Oiler dads get to come along and watch the many hours of getting up with Mom at 4 AM come to fruition.  It's a feel-good story for a team that's still competitive after 20 games of the season.  My dad once dropped me when he held me by my leg. Explains a lot, really.  Honest to goodness, fond memories of that guy.
  • McDAVID - After ten years of writing the same article before, during and after most games, it will come as absolutely no surprise to you that writing the little blurb about Connor McDavid hasn't gotten old yet.  A pair of assists in Monday's 5-0 victory over the Blackhawks pushes him to the top of the NHL in points (24) and assists (16).  That's the second time I've wrote that today.  I regret nothing.
  • CAGGIULA: Two games, two assists for Drake Caggiula.  Normally I'd be cheering like a drunk monkey at this, but watching the fourth line might have caused you to reach for the Pepto. It's his second career game, and perhaps a fourth line of 23-36-15 might not be where it's at. His assist came with 19 and 93 just as power play time expired.
  • POULIOT: He sat against Dallas and Chicago.  I thought he'd find his way back into the lineup after Kassian's four minute double minor against Dallas, but what the hell do I know?
  • HENDRICKS: Break up the fourth line!
  • RUSSELL:  A good game by all accounts for Kris Russell.  Put that dude with Andrej Sekera again and let's see another one.  He also had a big hit, which is what everyone's raving about today.
  • POWER PLAY: REG STRIKES BACK! Two power play goals against Chicago, almost three if you count the Andrej Sekera goal just as the power play clock expired.  The power play gardens are fertile again.
  • Cam Talbot (10-7-1, .920 SV% / 2.47 GAA / 3 SO) will likely go for the Oilers, Semyon Varlamov (5-8-0, .907 SV% / 2.92) will go for Colorado.  A rather pedestrian .907 from Varlamov so far this season.
  • Iiro Pakarinen (knee) and Brandon Davidson (upper body) will be out for the Oilers. Gabriel Landeskog (lower body) will be out for Colorado tonight.
  • #GOILERS