A pair of Northwest Division teams who are both struggling offensively square off Saturday as the Edmonton Oilers host the Colorado Avalanche. Edmonton fell to 1-3-3 over its last seven games as it began its five-game homestand with a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. The Oilers have scored three goals or less in all but one of its 13 contests this season. Their best offensive output came against the Avalanche on Jan. 28, when they posted a 4-1 home victory.
Colorado halted a three-game winless streak Thursday, when it posted a 4-3 shootout triumph over the Wild in Minnesota. Much like Edmonton, the Avalanche have had difficulty putting the puck in the net. The club has scored three goals or less in each of its last five games and 10 of its 12 contests this season.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), CBC, RDS (Edmonton)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (5-6-1): Milan Hejduk had plenty to celebrate on his 37th birthday on Thursday. The former team captain scored a power-play goal in regulation, which served as his 800th career point, and netted the decisive tally in the shootout. Hejduk joined Joe Sakic (1,641), Peter Stastny (1,048) and Michel Goulet (945) as the only players in franchise history to reach the 800-point plateau. “It definitely feels great, but at this point in the middle of the season, I’m really not looking at the stats too much,” Hejduk said. Jean-Sebastien Giguere needs two victories to tie Hall-of-Famer Johnny Bower (250) for 45th place on the all-time list.
ABOUT THE OILERS (5-5-3): After scoring 18 goals as a rookie last season, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins remains in search of his first tally this campaign. Nugent-Hopkins enters Saturday with six assists in 12 games and has gone 23 contests without a goal dating to last season. Veteran left wing Ryan Smyth was a healthy scratch for Tuesday’s meeting with Dallas but hopes to return to the lineup after practicing with the team Friday. “It’s tough to take. It’s in our nature to play hockey and not sit up and watch, but that was the coach’s decision he made,” Smyth said of being scratched.
1. Colorado has scored a league-low 27 goals, while Edmonton is 27th with 29 tallies.
2. The home team has won six of the last seven meetings in the all-time series.
3. The Avalanche are dead-last on the power play as they have scored on only 10.3 percent of their chances (5-for-48).
PREDICTION: Oilers 5, Avalanche 2