The Colorado Avalanche have run into a bit of trouble on this three game road swing through western Canada after dropping the first two games to Vancouver and Calgary. They get one more chance to redeem themselves with a game against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers were one of the biggest surprises of the league this year due to the sudden arrival of rookie center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and some spectacular goaltending from the tandem of Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk. Nugent-Hopkins remains one of the best young players in the league (he currently ranks 9th in the league in points) and looks to be a lock for the Calder Trophy. Khabibulin is still enjoying a renaissance season with a 9-6-3 record and a .932 SV%. Dubnyk has slipped lately, however, and has an .894 SV % in his last four games.
Colorado has been shorthanded this trip, as Kevin Porter was suspended four NHL games for his hit on Vancouver Canucks' forward David Booth. Paul Stastny is on Injured Reserve with a torso injury, and the Avalanche have recalled forward Brad Malone from the AHL to make his NHL debut on Friday night against Edmonton. Malone (4th rd, 2009) has 13 points in 24 games this season with the Lake Erie Monsters.
With a win, the Avalanche can leapfrog into a third-place tie with the Oilers.
Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. MDT.