Busting Out

With consecutive victories, the Colorado Avalanche appear to have put their recent losing streak behind them.

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The Avalanche try for a third straight win as they continue a three-game Canadian road trip with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Edmonton -155 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 52% of bets for this game have been placed on Edmonton -155 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Colorado (7-8-0) has been streaky this season, opening with three consecutive losses before winning five straight from Oct. 16-25. The Avalanche lost five in a row after that, getting outscored 21-8 in the process.

Peter Budaj surrendered 17 of those goals, but has yielded only one since to spark the Avalanche to back-to-back wins.

Budaj made 26 saves to shut out Nashville on Saturday, then followed it up Wednesday by stopping 31 shots through overtime and two more in the shootout to best Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo in a 2-1 victory.

"Luongo played an amazing game, but Peter stepped up last game for us with a shutout and this game they had so many good scoring chances in front of the net, and he just seemed to keep us in it especially on the penalty kill," Colorado winger Wojtek Wolski said.

This is the third meeting already this season for these Northwest Division rivals. The home team has taken each of the first two matchups - a 3-2 win for the Oilers (8-7-1) on Oct. 12 at Rexall Place, and a 4-1 Avalanche win in Colorado 11 days later. Budaj was in net for both games, and is 10-3-2 with a 2.47 goals-against average in 15 career outings against Edmonton.

The Avalanche have dropped their last three visits to Edmonton.

Avalanche captain Joe Sakic could return to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game because of a strained back. The veteran forward - third on the team with 12 points - has four goals and six assists during a seven-game point streak versus the Oilers, and has 99 points in 83 career games against them.

Edmonton opened its brief two-game homestand Thursday with a 5-2 defeat to Toronto. Denis Grebeshkov and Ales Hemsky each had two assists, while rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers - making his first appearance at Rexall Place - finished with 23 saves but suffered his first NHL loss.

The Oilers gave up at least five goals for the third time in their last five games - a span in which they've gone 2-3-0. Penalty killing was the main culprit, as three of the Maple Leafs' goals came in four power-play opportunities.

"We spent a lot of time in our zone in the second period and had some penalties to try and kill off and that was the momentum shift," defenseman Steve Staios said.

Hemsky - pacing the Oilers with 17 points - has five goals and six assists over his last eight games, and has two goals and nine assists in his last nine versus Colorado.

Saturday's game is the Avs' 1,000th regular-season contest since relocating to Denver from Quebec in 1995-96. The Avalanche conclude their road trip Tuesday night at Calgary.

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