[19-22-7]
1
3
[16-25-7]
02/02/2013
FINAL
1 2 3 T
EDM 1 0 0 1
26 SHOTS 40
23 FACEOFFS 31
16 HITS 25
12 PIM 6
0/3 PP 0/6
5 GIVEAWAYS 6
9 TAKEAWAYS 12
17 BLOCKED SHOTS 15
         

Avalanche-Oilers Preview

Friday, 02.01.2013 / 5:34 PM

The Colorado Avalanche ended their longest road trip of the season with their best offensive performance so far.

They'll try to keep it going - and remain undefeated at home - on Saturday in their second matchup against the Edmonton Oilers in six days.

Held to one total goal - a 4-1 loss to Edmonton (4-2-1) on Monday - while losing the first three games of their trip, Colorado (3-4-0) defeated Calgary 6-3 on Thursday.

Newcomers P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell had two goals and an assist apiece, while Avs center Paul Stastny scored his first two goals of the season.

"I think Paul can hopefully relax a little bit now and just play his game," coach Joe Sacco said. "It was just a matter of time before Paul got going. It's big for our team.

"We need Paul going offensively for our team."

The Avs, who open a season high-tying four-game homestand, also need their penalty kill to improve.

Edmonton's Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, captain Shawn Horcoff and rookie Nail Yakupov (empty net) all notched power-play goals on Monday.

Colorado, though, has killed all 12 penalties in its two home games in Denver and have killed off 7-of-8 opponent power play chances over the last two games.

The Oilers will close out their three-game trip in the Mile High City after Wednesday's 2-1 overtime victory over Phoenix and losing 3-2 in a shootout to undefeated San Jose the next night.

Edmonton, though, was pleased with the point and the comeback as Sam Gagner and Taylor Hall, who both recorded two assists on Monday, scored to rally the club from two down in the second period.

"I think we have to gain confidence from the way we battled back," Gagner said. "It's obviously a tough one to lose. Coming off a back-to-back against a team like San Jose, who's playing so well, we have to learn from it and continue to develop."

Devan Dubnyk is developing into a top-line goaltender, starting each of Edmonton's games and helping the club kill six of seven penalties on the trip, which started with the team's first back-to-back set this season.

"It begins with your goaltender," rookie coach Ralph Krueger said. "What does he do with the deficit and how does he react? Does he give your team a chance in the game? That's a sign of a top goalie in the National Hockey League."

The Oilers won't play on consecutive days again until Feb. 9-10, so Dubnyk should be in net Saturday. He's 5-2-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average in eight starts versus Colorado after Monday's season-best 37-save performance.

Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots for the Avs in that loss, Sacco said he will get the start in net on Saturday. Varlamov had played the first six games of the season before backup Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 25 saves in his first start of the year on Thursday.

Hall, the team leader with seven assists and nine points, has opened the season on a career-best seven-game point streak. He has nine points in nine career games versus Colorado.

The Avs have won two straight and three of four at home in this Northwest Division matchup.

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