The Colorado Avalanche fell to a playoff-bound Nashville Predators on Thursday night, missing out on a golden opportunity to leapfrog their way back into the top eight seeds in the Western Conference. They will not have that same leeway on Saturday afternoon against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers are virtually guaranteed yet another top 3 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft; this season is already over for them. They have lost four of their past five games, and their young and talented offense has simply not been able to support one of the league's most porous defenses.
With Matt Duchene out for the remainder of the regular season and defenseman Erik Johnson questionable for Saturday's game, the Avalanche will have to earn the two points up for grabs. With a victory, Colorado can potentially leapfrog all the way to 7th place tie in the Western Conference. A loss against one of the league's worst teams, especially at home, would be the second devastating loss in the past week (after last Thursday's defeat against Columbus).
If Colorado wants to make the playoffs, they need to handily defeat a wounded Edmonton team at Pepsi Center.
Semyon Varlamov will get the start in net for Colorado after continuing his stretch of excellent performances.
Puck drops at 1:00 p.m. MDT.