Preview: Oilers at Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche earned a key result last time out and look to extend their point streak to nine games while remaining in a playoff position when they host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. Alexander Kerfoot scored with 47 seconds left in regulation on Monday to forge a tie before the Avalanche dropped a 3-2 decision in a shootout at St. Louis and lead Arizona by two points for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“I’m happy to get a point,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar told reporters. “I wish we had two, but pretty happy to come into a really tough building against a real good team and get a point here tonight. It'll be a big point.” The Avalanche have won four straight at home and leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon, who is one point shy of 400 for his career, has led the way for a team that also plays Central Division leader Winnipeg at home on Thursday and playoff-bound San Jose on the road two days later to end of the regular season. Edmonton’s faint playoff hopes were extinguished on Monday, when Colorado posted a point and the Oilers went on to lose 3-1 at Vegas - their sixth setback in eight games (2-4-2). Captain Connor McDavid matched his career high with his 41st goal in Monday's loss and has teamed with Leon Draisaitl to record 21 of their 217 combined points in the last six contests.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West (Edmonton), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE OILERS (34-36-9): McDavid (115 points) has recorded five goals and five assists while Draisaitl (102) has netted four tallies and set up seven others during the last six games as Edmonton attempted to climb back into the playoff race. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is two goals away from reaching 30 for the first time in his career but was held without a shot in Monday’s defeat. Zack Kassian (personal-best 15 goals) notched an assist in the loss to Vegas and is three points shy of matching the career high of 29 he set in 2013-14 with Vancouver while defenseman Darnell Nurse has picked up four assists in his last six contests.
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (36-29-14): MacKinnon recorded an assist on Monday to move within one of his career high of 97 points and needs one goal to become the first to reach 40 for the franchise since Milan Hejduk scored 50 in 2002-03. Mikko Rantanen (31 goals, 87 points) still is day-to-day with an upper-body ailment after missing five games, but captain Gabriel Landeskog has registered a goal and two assists in two contests since returning from injury. Philipp Grubauer allowed 13 goals while making eight straight starts, but Semyon Varlamov could play on Tuesday in the second game of a back-to-back set.
1. Edmonton C Sam Gagner has registered nine points in 22 games since being re-acquired and is slated to play in his 800th NHL contest on Tuesday.
2. Kerfoot has recorded two goals and four assists during his five-game point streak and is three points away from his career high of 43.
3. The road team won both of the previous matchups this season, but the Oilers are 6-1-1 in their last eight meetings with Colorado.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Avalanche 3