Avalanche vs. Oilers Preview
EDMONTON, Alb. (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche couldn't avoid a third straight loss their last time out despite having their most shots on goal in eight years, as poor penalty killing cost them again. A matchup with the Edmonton Oilers could make that weakness a non-issue.
The Avalanche, winners of three straight on the road, try to stop their skid and deal the Oilers a fifth consecutive defeat Thursday night at Rexall Place.
Colorado (19-12-5) outshot Detroit 49-30 on Monday, but allowed the Red Wings to score four times on six power plays in a 4-3 overtime loss. The Avalanche had their most shots since Nov. 12, 2002, but registered none in the extra period.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Avalanche -131 money line favorites for Thursday's game against the Oilers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 55% of more than 60 bets for this game have been placed on the Avalanche -131.
Colorado has given up power-play goals in five straight games, surrendering nine in 21 chances during that span, and has allowed 12 goals in its last 32 short-handed situations.
"They got all of their goals on the power play. We've just got to stay out of the box against teams like that," said left wing T.J. Galiardi, who scored his third goal in five games.
The Avs, who gave up a season high in power-play goals, are second-to-last in the NHL - ahead of the Oilers - with a 75.9 penalty-killing percentage.
"Their power play was going, but 5-on-5 I think we definitely outplayed them," said Colorado's Peter Budaj, who stopped 26 shots but committed a tripping penalty early in overtime that led to Niklas Kronwall's power-play goal.
Edmonton (12-17-6) hasn't been much better with the man advantage than it has in penalty killing, ranking near the bottom of the league at 15.6 percent and going 2 for 20 in the last six games. That could help Colorado as it attempts to stop a three-game skid that has followed a season-high six-game win streak.
The Oilers continued to struggle Tuesday, falling 4-2 at Buffalo for their fourth loss in a row and sixth in seven games. Edmonton, which opened a five-game homestand, has dropped three of four at Rexall Place.
"We had a good third and were strong in the first 10 minutes, but the white part of the Oreo cookie wasn't very good. It was awful," coach Tom Renney said. "This is the way the season is. As much as we don't like it, we are still going to see this occasionally. What we have to do is limit the number of times this happens moving forward."
Dustin Penner and Ryan Jones scored for the Oilers, who have the fewest points in the Western Conference.
"That's certainly not the effort we wanted," rookie forward Taylor Hall said. "After playing well in the three games on the road we had an opportunity to start the homestand off right and we didn't do that."
Making matters worse, defenseman Ryan Whitney left with a right ankle injury early in the first period. Whitney, who leads the Oilers with 27 points, is uncertain for Thursday.
Colorado, which got forwards Milan Hejduk and Cody McLeod back from injuries Monday, has gone 3-1-2 in the last six road contests. The Avs, though, have dropped three straight in Edmonton, giving up 14 goals.