The Edmonton Oilers conclude their franchise-high nine-game road trip Tuesday, when they visit the Northwest Division-rival Colorado Avalanche. Edmonton began its trek by earning three points in the first two contests but spiraled afterward, going 0-4-1 over the next five. The Oilers stormed out of the gate in Chicago on Sunday, building a four-goal lead after one period before hanging on to hand the mighty Blackhawks their second straight regulation loss after a record-setting 21-0-3 start to the lockout-shortened season.
Colorado, which is wrapping up a three-game homestand, had the distinction of being the first team to slay Chicago in regulation as it posted an impressive 6-2 victory Friday. The Avalanche squandered a two-goal lead over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday but escaped with a 3-2 triumph as Matt Duchene scored his second of the night two-tenths of a second before overtime expired. The victories, which followed an 0-2-1 road trip, extended Colorado's home winning streak to five games and raised its record to 8-2-1 at the Pepsi Center.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Rogers Sportsnet West (Edmonton), Altitude (Colorado)
ABOUT THE OILERS (9-11-5): Edmonton got its captain back Sunday as Shawn Horcoff returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a broken knuckle. The 34-year-old center scored his 157th career goal, tying Doug Weight for ninth place on the franchise list. Devan Dubnyk exited the game against Chicago midway through the second period with a neck injury. Dubnyk, who was crashed into by teammate Teemu Hartikainen, told the team's website Monday he was feeling better and is ready to play. "Right away, from the top of my head to the back of my neck, it felt like it was on fire," he said. "Then I couldn't feel the back of my head for about half an hour. ... It's definitely sore today, but it didn't get worse (overnight)."
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (10-10-4): Duchene and PA Parenteau have been key offensive contributors of late. Duchene has recorded four goals and three assists over his last three games, while Parenteau enters Tuesday with a career-high six-game point streak during which he has collected two goals and eight assists. Duchene totaled six points in Colorado's first three meetings with Edmonton. Semyon Varlamov is likely to be in net Tuesday as he has started each of the Avalanche's first 11 home games.
1. The Oilers return to Rexall Place on Friday as they take on Detroit in the opener of a four-game homestand.
2. The home team has won each of the first three meetings between the division rivals this season and seven of the last eight in the all-time series.
3. Colorado is seeking its first three-game winning streak of the campaign.
PREDICTION: Avalanche 4, Oilers 3