|COL||3||4||0||(0 - 0)||7|
|EDM||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
GAME: Colorado Avalanche (2-3-1) at Edmonton Oilers (3-4-1).
TIME: Friday, 9 p.m. EDT.
The Colorado Avalanche are having trouble holding leads.
They'll look to end a three-game losing streak when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.
Colorado built a 4-1 lead midway through the second period in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Los Angeles. It marked the second time in eight days the Avalanche blew a three-goal lead, also doing so in a 5-4 loss to Nashville on Oct. 12.
"You should win those games," Colorado goaltender David Aebischer said. "Right now we are a little short. We've lost games weirdly."
The latest loss was particularly painful because Colorado surrendered goals in the final minute of the second and third periods, mishandling the puck in its own zone on both occasions.
"Goals four and five were unacceptable," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "You don't give up goals in the last minute of the period. And our play at the end of the game we were sloppy. Really sloppy."
Colorado has struggled since losing Peter Forsberg and defenseman Adam Foote, both due to the NHL's new salary cap. The Avalanche could be losing two more stars soon.
The Denver Post reported Thursday that the Avalanche have declined options in 2006-07 for center Joe Sakic and defenseman Rob Blake. Sakic has three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.
Aebischer's shaky play may give Peter Budaj an opportunity to start. Budaj has a 1.92 goals-against-average and has a win and an overtime loss in two starts.
Edmonton dropped its fifth straight with a 3-1 loss at Calgary on Thursday. The Oilers have not won, though they went to overtime once, since a season-opening three-game win streak.
Ethan Moreau scored in the opening period as Edmonton held a 14-4 shots heading into the second. However, the Oilers were unable to get untracked on the power play, failing to score on six chances.
Shawn Horcoff returned for Edmonton on Thursday after missing two games with a sprained right shoulder, and did not have a point with just one shot.
STANDINGS (through Oct. 19): Avalanche - 5 points, 4th place (tied), 6 PB, Northwest Division. Oilers - 7 points, 3rd place, 4 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Avalanche - Marek Svatos, 5 goals; Alex Tanguay, 7 assists; Svatos, Tanguay and John-Michael Liles, 7 points; Ian Laperriere, 19 PIM. Oilers - Raffi Torres, 4 goals; Jarret Stoll, 5 assists; Horcoff and Stoll, 6 points; Moreau, 18 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 19): Avalanche - Power play: 22.5 percent (9 for 40), 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.2 percent (34 for 39), 8th (tied). Oilers - Power play: 14.9 percent (7 for 47), 19th. Penalty killing: 81.3 percent (39 for 48), 19th (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Avalanche - Aebischer (1-3-0, 0 SO, 4.30 GAA); Budaj (1-0-1, 0, 1.92). Oilers - Jussi Markkanen (2-3-1, 0, 2.62); Ty Conklin (1-1-0, 0, 3.48).
SEASON SERIES: Oilers, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 5; Oilers, 4-3. At Edmonton, Horcoff scored twice and put in the game-winner with 3:18 remaining in the season opener for both teams. Colorado was outshot 31-17.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Avalanche - 1-1-0 on the road; Oilers - 2-1-1 at home.