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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 21st (All times eastern)

Colorado Avalanche (37-29-6) at Edmonton Oilers (30-36-7), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers hope to avoid setting a franchise record for futility as they begin the first of two consecutive games against the resurgent Colorado Avalanche tonight at Rexall Place.

The downtrodden Oilers were dealt their 11th consecutive defeat on Monday, a 2-1 setback at home to Vancouver. Ten of those losses have come in regulation, with the only exception being a 3-2 overtime decision to St. Louis last Saturday.

Edmonton's only other 11-game losing streak came from October 16-November 7, 1993.

Monday's defeat overshadowed a strong performance from goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who turned away 36-of-38 shots. However, the Oilers only managed one goal, a first-period tally from Raffi Torres, on 37 attempts against Vancouver All-Star Roberto Luongo.

Edmonton has also dropped seven in a row at Rexall Place and hasn't won at home since a 5-1 triumph over Atlanta on February 11. The Oilers are 18-17-3 as the host this season.

While Edmonton continues to sputter, the Avalanche have been playing their best hockey of the year as of late. Colorado is 8-0-1 over its last nine games and picked up its third straight victory with Sunday's overtime win over San Jose.

Milan Hejduk netted the game-winner just 19 seconds into the extra period and Joe Sakic racked up four assists as the Avalanche edged the Sharks, 4-3, at the Pepsi Center.

Colorado's recent spurt has put the club just six points behind Calgary in the battle for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Western Conference.

Andrew Brunette had a goal and an assist on Sunday and now has recorded eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) during a five-game scoring streak.

Tonight's matchup starts a three-game road trip for the Avalanche, who are 5-0-1 over their six most recent outings as the visitor and 17-15-3 away from home on the season.

These two Northwest Division rivals, who will face off again in Edmonton on Friday, have split six previous meetings in 2006-07. Colorado has won both encounters at Rexall Place and is 4-1-0 over its last five games as the visitor in this series.

03/21 10:51:56 ET


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