NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 30 (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (22-40-13) at Colorado Avalanche (35-28-12), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Colorado may be running out of time to get back into the playoff mix, but the Avalanche will try to keep their chances alive with a third straight win on Monday night as they take on the Edmonton Oilers.
The Avalanche followed up a 2-2-1 road trip with a third consecutive victory at home on Saturday night, topping the Buffalo Sabres 5-3. Matt Duchene led the charge with a goal and two assists, while four other players lit the lamp.
Tyson Barrie, John Mitchell, Marc-Andre Cliche and Brad Stuart also scored, Jarome Iginla chipped in with three assists and Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves for the Avalanche, who are eight points behind the idle Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. Colorado has a game in hand.
"I played no different tonight than I have been, but tonight everything clicked," said Duchene. "It was a tough road trip, hopefully, it's not too late for us."
Iginla's three-point night allowed him to move past Canadiens great Jean Beliveau for sole possession of 40th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list.
The Oilers have 57 points on the season, putting them ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes (54) and Buffalo Sabres (48) in the league's standings. That has reduced them to the role of spoiler, something they pulled off last Wednesday with a 4-3 home win over the Avalanche.
Derek Roy had the winner with 9:18 left to play as the Oilers regrouped after blowing a 3-0 first-period lead. Martin Marincin, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall had the early goals and Ben Scrivens posted 41 saves as Edmonton beat Colorado for the first time in the past four meetings.
Ryan O'Reilly aided the Avalanche's comeback effort with a goal and two assists, while Varlamov yielded three goals on seven shots before getting lifted after just 9:36 of action. Reto Berra yielded a goal on 27 shots faced in relief.
Varlamov is expected to start tonight and is 6-8-0 with a 3.25 goals against average and .325 save percentage in 15 meetings.
Colorado has won five of its past seven at home in this series.
The Oilers followed up the win over the Avs with a 4-0 triumph versus the Dallas Stars on Friday, giving Edmonton back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 17-20.
Edmonton has not won three in a row since a four-game win streak from Oct. 20-27.
Richard Bachman posted 29 saves for his first shutout of the season and second of his career. Bachman, who was a fourth-round draft pick of the Stars in 2006 and played parts of three seasons with the team, got his first win since April 13.
"Richard was unbelievable. He was perfect," Edmonton interim head coach Todd Nelson said. "Our team was better in front of him during the third."
Rookie Andrew Miller scored his first NHL goal on a penalty shot, Benoit Pouliot tallied a goal and an assist and Roy and Eberle also lit the lamp for the Oilers, who went 4-1-1 on a six-game homestand.
Eberle has seven goals and 16 assists over his past 10 games, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins recorded a helper to give him four goals and four assists over his past six contests.
Edmonton will play its next three on the road and Scrivens may get the start tonight. He is 1-1-2 versus the Avs with a 2.18 GAA and .935 save percentage.
03/30 10:37:49 ET