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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 16th (All times Eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (5-6-1) at Edmonton Oilers (5-5-3), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - While the effort was there, it was the result that was lacking for the Edmonton Oilers in the opener of their homestand on Tuesday.
After a couple of days to refocus, the Oilers try to win for just the second time in eight games on Saturday night as they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town.
Edmonton snapped an 0-2-3 skid with last Sunday's win at Columbus, but began a five-game homestand with a 4-1 loss versus the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. Taylor Hall netted a first-period goal for the Oilers, but the Stars tied the game in the second before exploding for three goals in the third.
Devan Dubnyk gave up four goals on 29 shots and was the victim of some bad bounces as the Oilers lost despite outshooting the Stars 36-29.
"It's frustrating when we play as well as we did to get a couple of bounces like that (against us)," said Dubnyk. "Obviously that wasn't a 4-1 game. That's what the score ended up being, but we certainly didn't feel that way."
Edmonton suffered its third straight home loss and will also host Los Angeles, Minnesota and Phoenix before embarking on a nine-game road trip that runs from Feb. 25-March 12.
"We've got to focus on this homestand. This is a huge point. We have to look ahead. You don't want to look at the big picture, but right now we have to. We need to get some points on this homestand," said Oilers forward Jordan Eberle.
While Edmonton's recent five-game slide included a 3-1 setback in Colorado on Feb. 2, it does own a 4-1 home win over the Avalanche. The Oilers scored four power-play goals in that victory on Jan. 28, with Dubnyk making 23 of his 37 saves in the third period.
Eberle had one of Edmonton's goals, but hasn't lit the lamp in eight games since.
Colorado has lost three of its past four in Edmonton, but was able to snap a three-game slide on Thursday with a 4-3 shootout win over Minnesota. Matt Duchene tied the game late in the third and scored in the breakaway session, along with Milan Hejduk, while Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned away two skaters in the shootout.
Hejduk also scored a power-play goal in regulation on his 37th birthday to become the fourth player in team history -- and second since the relocation to Colorado -- to reach 800 points with the franchise, while Giguere made 26 saves in his second start of the season.
"We faced some adversity tonight. We were up 2-1 in the third, they came back and made it 3-2 and we found a way to get two points. It's the type of effort you need on the road," Giguere said.
Colorado won for just the third time in its past nine games.
Semyon Varlamov is likely to start for the Avs on Saturday night and will be backed up by Calvin Pickard, who was recalled from the AHL after Giguere left the team for personal reasons. He is scheduled to return from practice on Sunday.
02/16 10:29:56 ET