Series (Game 3 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Tuesday, October 27th
Game 2: Sunday, November 8th
Game 3: Wednesday, November 18th
Game 4: Monday, January 18th
Game 5: Saturday, February 6th
Game 6: Wednesday, April 7th

Avalanche 4

(13-6-3, 29 pts)

Oilers 6

(9-10-3, 21 pts)

Coverage: TSN

9:00 PM ET, November 18, 2009

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 2 2 04
EDM 1 2 36

L. Visnovsky (Oilers - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

M. Hejduk (Avalanche - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

G. Brule (Oilers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Avalanche-Oilers Preview


The Colorado Avalanche's impressive start to the season was spurred by the strong play of their defense and goaltender Craig Anderson.

Another strong defensive effort may have been just what they needed to snap out of a rough stretch.

The Avalanche will likely have Anderson back in net Wednesday night when they continue their road trip through Western Canada against the Edmonton Oilers.

Colorado (13-5-3) opened the season by going 10-1-2 to build a seven-point Northwest Division lead. Anderson started all 13 of those games, posting a 1.97 goals-against average with two shutouts -- one shy of his total from all of last season with Florida.

The Avalanche, however, dropped five of their following seven games as their lead over second-place Calgary dwindled to one point. Anderson went 1-4-1 with a 3.46 GAA over that span, and got pulled for the first time with his new club after giving up four goals on 22 shots in less than two periods of an 8-2 loss to Vancouver on Saturday.

Anderson bounced back and came up big against the Flames on Tuesday, stopping 36 shots -- including all 11 he faced in the third period -- while the Avs blocked 24 more en route to a 3-2 victory to open this three-game trip.

"I'm there for my teammates," Anderson said. "There's going to be breakdowns, you've got to make the save for that and keep the score 3-2."

Anderson did not fare well in his last game against the Oilers (8-10-3) on Nov. 8, making 27 saves in a 5-3 home loss. However, he's recorded shutouts while totaling 66 saves in his last two games at Edmonton, including a 3-0 win Oct. 27.

If the Avalanche opt to rest Anderson, backup Peter Budaj would make his second start of the season and first since a 4-1 win over Phoenix on Nov. 4. He owns a 7-2-1 record with a 2.73 GAA in 10 games at Rexall Place.

Colorado, which has won its last three visits to Edmonton, concludes this trip Friday in Vancouver before returning home for three of their following four contests.

This game opens a five-game homestand for the Oilers, who are 2-8-2 since an impressive 6-2-1 start to the season. They've been held to fewer than three goals in nine of their last 12 games, getting shut out three times in that stretch.

Edmonton concluded a 1-2-2 road trip Monday night with a 3-2 shootout loss at Columbus, leaving coach Pat Quinn searching for positives to take away from his club's fourth consecutive defeat.

"We had two real good periods," Quinn said. "The second period we had some turnovers and played too much in our zone. We had some good efforts from our players and we will take positives out of that."

A return home might be just what the Oilers need, as they're 6-3-1 at Rexall Place.

Dustin Penner leads the Oilers with 12 goals and 23 points. He's been at his best in Edmonton, with seven goals and seven assists in 10 games there.

The left wing was held without a point and missed his shootout attempt Monday. That came after he had three goals over his previous four games, including a goal and an assist in the win at Colorado on Nov. 8.