Preview: Avalanche at Oilers
Although Leon Draisaitl leads the NHL in points (36) and multi-point performances (11), the Edmonton Oilers star forward saw his club undone for the third time in five outings by a fast start from its opponent. The Oilers aim to rebound as Draisaitl carries a 10-game point streak (nine goals, 11 assists) into Thursday's tilt versus the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Captain Connor McDavid extended his point streak to five games (five goals, three assists) after setting up Zack Kassian's third-period goal in Edmonton's 6-3 setback to San Jose on Tuesday. The Oilers return home to Rogers Place, where they have mustered just 10 goals to lose three of their last four (1-2-1) after scoring 21 goals to win their first five contests to start the season. The Avalanche have answered a five-game losing skid (0-4-1) in which they netted just seven goals by erupting for 17 during their three-game winning streak. Nathan MacKinnon had a hand in eight of those tallies after scoring two goals and setting up two others as Colorado opened its five-game road trip with a 4-0 victory over Winnipeg on Tuesday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), Sportsnet West (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (11-5-2): Rookie Cale Makar followed up being named the NHL's Third Star of the Week by etching his name into the record books after becoming the eighth rookie defenseman in league history to score the game-winning goal in consecutive contests. The former Hobey Baker Award recipient has scored a goal in three consecutive contests and netted four to go along with three assists during his four-game point streak. Makar's 18 points in 18 games have him comfortably atop the rookie scoring race for a Colorado club that is welcoming the offensive production with star forwards Mikko Rantanen and captain Gabriel Landeskog nursing lower-body injuries.
ABOUT THE OILERS (12-6-2): By all accounts, Edmonton would gladly accept its record at the near-quarter pole of the season with open arms, but defenseman Darnell Nurse wasn't too pleased after seeing the team go through the motions in San Jose. "Whatever your record is, you don't want to have games like this," the 24-year-old Nurse said. "We hold ourselves to a high standard and games like this are not acceptable. But it's not a game we're going to dwell on and carry into the next game, but there are a lot of really good lessons we need to learn and pick it up coming back on home ice." Nurse, who will play in his 300th game on Thursday, collected two goals and an assist in three encounters with Colorado last season.
1. Colorado's Philipp Grubauer (lower body) and RW Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (head) participated in the team's on-ice session on Wednesday.
2. Edmonton recalled Caleb Jones from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League and placed fellow D Brandon Manning (hand) on injured reserve.
3. The Avalanche did not provide an update on the condition of G Pavel Francouz, who exited Tuesday's game just 31 seconds into the contest with a lower-body injury.
PREDICTION: Oilers 4, Avalanche 3