Edmonton Oilers host banged-up Avalanche

The Edmonton Oilers will hit the halfway point of the regular season with a showdown against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday night at Rogers Place (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m., game at 8 p.m.).

It’s the first meeting for the teams since the Avs swept the Oilers in the Western Conference Final in June.

“They’re the team that ended our season. They’re the Cup champs. There are a lot of reasons to get up for this one,” said Oilers captain Connor McDavid.

“I was fortunate enough to be in the stands and watch that series. It was a fun series to watch. Obviously, not the results that we wanted but that makes this game very exciting,” said goaltender Stuart Skinner.

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The injury-riddled Avalanche are 0-4-1 in their last five games. Their injured list includes captain Gabriel Landeskog, defenceman Bowen Byram and Josh Manson and goalie Pavel Francouz.

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The Oilers are coming off a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. They’ve allowed two goals or less in four of their last five.

“Feels better defensively out there. Feels like we’re not getting hemmed in our zone for big stretches of time. Not giving up as many shots or chances against,” noted McDavid.

The Oilers are once again expected to go with eleven forwards and seven defencemen:

Kostin — McDavid — Yamamoto

Nugent-Hopkins — Draisaitl — Hyman

Janmark — McLeod — Puljujarvi

Holloway — Ryan

Nurse — Ceci

Kulak — Barrie

Broberg — Bouchard



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