Series (Game 3 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, October 28th
Game 2: Saturday, November 26th
Game 3: Friday, December 9th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 31st
Game 5: Friday, February 17th
Game 6: Saturday, March 10th

Avalanche 1

(13-16-1, 27 pts)

Oilers 4

(14-12-3, 31 pts)

Coverage: TSN

9:30 PM ET, December 9, 2011

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 0 1 01
EDM 2 2 04

S. Gagner (Oilers - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

R. Nugent-Hopkins (Oilers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

N. Khabibulin (Oilers - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .966

Avalanche-Oilers Preview


Colorado could not lose on the road during the first two weeks of the season. Since then, it can't win.

The Avalanche look to avoid an eighth consecutive loss away from home by winning a third straight road contest over the struggling Edmonton Oilers Friday night.

Colorado (13-15-1) opened the season with six straight victories away from the Pepsi Center, but since then is 0-6-1 on the road after falling 3-2 at Calgary on Thursday. The Avalanche franchise has not lost eight straight on the road since dropping nine in a row to open the 1991-92 season when the club was based in Quebec.

However, Colorado might have good reason to believe its road skid will end after posting consecutive shootout victories in its last two trips to Edmonton. The teams split their previous two meetings this season, both in Denver.

The Avalanche will need to play better after they allowed Calgary to score three times in the third period. Two of the Flames goals came during a 4-minute power play resulting from a double-minor high-sticking call on T.J. Galiardi, who did tie the game at 2.

"No one wants to take a penalty. You don't do that on purpose," Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "If you give them too many chances on the power play, it's eventually going to go against you."

Opponents are 10 for 35 (28.6 percent) on the power play against the Avalanche during their seven-game road skid. The Oilers (13-12-3), however, are 2 for 22 with the man advantage while losing five of their last six contests overall.

That rough stretch began with a 5-2 loss at Colorado on Nov. 26. Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for the Avalanche in that contest and could start in this back-to-back scenario after Giguere stopped 32 shots at Calgary.

Varlamov has allowed 12 goals on 54 shots in his last two road starts, the most recent a 6-0 loss at Vancouver on Tuesday to open this three-game trip. He's yielded five goals in two games versus Edmonton this season.

Matt Duchene, who scored his team-leading 10th goal Thursday, has five goals and 12 assists in 14 career games against the Oilers.

Star rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has scored in two straight games and has three goals with three assists in his last five for Edmonton, which is coming off a consecutive 5-3 home losses to Calgary and Carolina.

The Oilers allowed three second-period goals against the Hurricanes on Wednesday to fall to 1-3-1 on a homestand that concludes Friday.

"We didn't have enough passion to play," coach Tom Renney said. "I'm pretty disappointed. We all are."

Despite that disappointment and frustration, Edmonton players are poised to put their recent struggles behind them and focus on the Avalanche.

"You move on once it's over," forward Ryan Jones told the Oilers' official website. "When you focus on the games in the past, you forget about the task at hand. We're not going to do that; instead, we're going to move on so we can get some wins again."

While Nugent-Hopkins does not have a point in two games versus Colorado, Jones has a goal with two assists against the Avalanche this season.