As the Oilers try to end their losing streak at five Saturday night, the visiting Avalanche look to avoid their worst in more than two decades.
While Colorado (26-36-8) will be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with a regulation loss, Edmonton (23-39-9) is the only one to be officially out of the hunt with a league-worst 55 points.
Edmonton is missing leading scorers Sam Gagner(notes), Taylor Hall(notes) and Ales Hemsky(notes) for the season due to injuries, so recent call-ups Teemu Hartikainen(notes), Chris Vande Velde(notes), Ryan O’Marra(notes) and Alexandre Giroux(notes) all saw action in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Phoenix and gave coach Tom Renney reason for optimism.
“The guys played their guts out tonight,” Renney said. “You can name any element of our game tonight and we tried. It doesn’t always translate into what you want.”
The Oilers’ last six-game skid was a season-worst 0-5-2 stretch from Dec. 21-Jan. 4.
Edmonton posted 5-1 road victories in both meetings with Colorado since the All-Star break and is 4-0-1 in the last five matchups.
The Oilers will face an Avalanche club that’s 2-20-2 since Jan. 18 following Thursday’s 5-2 loss at Calgary.
“After a loss like that, you sure wish (your first goal) was after better circumstances, but that’s the way she goes sometimes so we’ve just got to rebound for Saturday,” Olver said.
Colorado, which won 4-3 in a shootout in its last visit to Rexall Place on Dec. 30, will try to end a 10-game skid that began with a Feb. 23 home loss to Edmonton. That defeat came one day after the Avs had snapped an 0-9-1 slide.
Their last 11-game losing streak was a franchise-worst 14-game slide from Oct. 21-Nov. 19, 1990, when the club was based in Quebec.
Peter Budaj(notes) has lost 10 of 11 starts, but he could get the nod from coach Joe Sacco considering Brian Elliott(notes), acquired from Ottawa last month, has yielded nine goals to the Oilers in two matchups since that trade.
The teams conclude their seasons in Denver on April 10.