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Edmonton
Oilers
32-40-10
Colorado
Avalanche
41-35-6

19 SOG
41 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
EDM
COL
game preview

Avs Host Red-Hot Oilers

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 1:47 AM

NHL.com

The Colorado Avalanche failed to match a franchise record for consecutive road wins, falling their last time out.

They, however, feel there were plenty of positives to take away from the disappointing result as they begin a home-heavy stretch.

Playing 14 of their next 18 at Pepsi Center, the Avalanche try to avoid opening with three straight home defeats for the first time in 13 seasons Friday night against the surging Edmonton Oilers.

Colorado (6-3-0), which opened 6-0 on the road for the first time in club history, suffered a 4-2 loss at Calgary. The Avalanche recorded a franchise-best seven straight road wins Jan. 10-Feb. 7, 1999.

Defensemen Kyle Quincey and Ryan Wilson both scored while Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned away 31-of-34 shots - including 20-of-21 over the first 20 minutes. While their third-period rally fell short, the Avalanche did outshoot the Flames 20-6 in the last period.

"Our goaltender gave us a good chance in the first period. We were very fortunate to be 1-1," coach Joe Sacco said. "What we saw in the third period is more of a reflection on how we play."

While center Ryan O'Reilly was anything but pleased with the loss, he knows Colorado's resiliency could pay long-term dividends.

"If you look at the games we've played this season, whenever we've found ourselves down a bit in the third period, we've found a way to come back and at least give ourselves a shot - and that says a lot about us," O'Reilly said.

The Avalanche have been outscored 6-1 in their two home losses and haven't opened with three consecutive defeats there since 1998-99.

Colorado will surely look to last season's leading scorer Matt Duchene to lead the way in this one given his recent success versus the Oilers (5-2-2). Duchene, who recorded career highs of 27 goals and 40 assists in 2010-11, has tallied five and 10, respectively over his last 10 meetings in this series.

Edmonton is coming off its third straight victory, beating previously undefeated Washington 2-1 on Thursday. Right wing Jordan Eberle notched a goal and an assist while Nikolai Khabibulin came through with another stellar effort.

Khabibulin made 34 saves, improving to 4-0-2 with a 0.97 goals-against average.

"It was a good test," Khabibulin said. "We really wanted to see where we're at. So it feels good to beat one of the best teams in the league."

First overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, tied with Eberle for the team lead with nine points, played in his ninth game. If the 18-year-old plays a 10th, he will remain with Edmonton for the remainder of the season.

Coach Tom Renney hasn't made an official announcement regarding his rookie sensation, but Nugent-Hopkins, who had an assist Thursday, was scheduled to travel to Colorado.

Edmonton, however, won't have the services of defenseman Ryan Whitney, who went for an MRI on his sore right knee Wednesday and is expected to miss up to three weeks.

The Oilers and Avalanche, who finished 30th and 29th in the league with 62 and 68 points, respectively, last season, are tied atop the Northwest Division with 12 points.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '12EDM 2 at COL 3 - SOM. Hejduk
Feb 17 '12COL 3 at EDM 1M. Olver
Jan 31 '12COL 2 at EDM 3T. Hall
Dec 09 '11COL 1 at EDM 4B. Eager
Nov 26 '11EDM 2 at COL 5S. Elliott
Oct 28 '11EDM 3 at COL 1A. Sutton
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Nugent-Hopkins10549+3421
J. Eberle10279+3011
R. Smyth10358+12701
T. Hall9358+4621
S. Horcoff10156+1000
C. Potter8156+0210
R. Jones10213+0200
T. Gilbert10112-2210
C. Barker10101+31010
A. Sutton10101+03101
E. Belanger10011-3600
L. Petrell9011+0000
S. Gagner4011+0000
A. Hemsky2011+1000
L. Smid10000+0800
A. Lander10000-1400
M. Paajarvi10000-1000
B. Eager7000+02100
T. Peckham6000+11300
L. Omark5000-2200
R. Whitney4000+0000
J. Petry3000+2200
D. Hordichuk3000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Khabibulin64-0-261690.97.964
D. Dubnyk42-2-081291.98.938
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. O'Reilly10178-2010
P. Stastny10257-3400
D. Jones10516+0021
G. Landeskog10426+2401
M. Hejduk10336-4621
K. Quincey10246+11420
E. Johnson10066-7000
R. Wilson10145+61100
M. Duchene10145-1010
D. Winnik10224-1800
J. Lindstrom7213-2010
J. Hejda10033-7000
R. O'Byrne10112+0400
S. O'Brien10022-22700
C. Kobasew10101-5600
T. Galiardi8101-3000
C. McLeod10011+0900
J. McClement10000+0400
P. Mueller3000+0000
K. Porter2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov74-3-0182302.51.922
J. Giguere32-1-06792.00.924
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