NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 3rd (All times eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (25-23-4) at Colorado Avalanche (25-22-4), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two teams battling for position in the Western Conference meet this afternoon in Denver, as the Colorado Avalanche welcome the Edmonton Oilers to the Pepsi Center.
Both the Avalanche and the Oilers have 54 points and are tied at the bottom of the extremely tight Northwest Division. The clubs are also six points out of the final playoff berth in the West.
The Oilers are coming off Thursday's setback to the Northwest-leading Vancouver Canucks, who are tied atop the division with Calgary. Markus Naslund scored the game-winning goal and added an assist to lead the Canucks to the 5-3 home victory.
Marty Reasoner had a goal and an assist while Dwayne Roloson stopped 29-of-33 shots in the loss for the Oilers, who had a two-game winning streak stopped.
The Oilers are 9-13-2 as the visiting club this year and are completing a brief two-game road trip today. They will return to Edmonton Tuesday to battle the Canucks in the opener of a three-game homestand.
Meanwhile, today's game represents the third portion of a five-game stand for the Avalanche, who are 1-1 on the residency so far and 14-11-3 as the home club this year.
The Avs are coming off a loss as they were clipped, 5-3, by the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Marian Gaborik scored two goals, including the game-winner late in the third period to lift Minnesota.
Gaborik, who also had an assist, took a feed from Kim Johnsson just above the right circle, and used a wrister from 46 feet out to beat Peter Budaj with 4:34 to play.
Andrew Brunette, Brett Clark and Marek Svatos all scored for the Avalanche, who have dropped three of four. Milan Hejduk had two assists, while Budaj stopped 32 shots in defeat.
The Oilers and Avs have met five times this year and after losing the first two encounters, Colorado has taken three in a row.
02/03 10:29:23 ET