NHL

Oilers host Avalanche in Northwest Division battle

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The Sports Network
1/28/2013 12:32:35 PM
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(Sports Network) - The Edmonton Oilers will try to get back in the win column on Monday when they welcome the Colorado Avalanche for a Northwest Division clash at Rexall Place.

The Oilers have alternated wins and losses over their first four games of the season and the club is coming off Saturday's setback in Calgary. The 4-3 decision was the first win of the season for the Flames.

Rookie Justin Schultz recorded a goal and two assists for Edmonton, while Devan Dubnyk stopped 31 shots.

"As much as the effort was there in many situations, we deserted too much of our principles," said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger.

The loss was a letdown after Thursday's thrilling 2-1 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Kings. Edmonton's Nail Yakupov scored with 4.7 seconds remaining in regulation to send that game to overtime, where Sam Gagner won it after converting a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

The Oilers and Avs split six meetings in 2011-12 and each club has five wins over the last 10 encounters. Colorado has won in three of its last five trips to Edmonton.

The Avalanche had won two straight games before beginning a four-game road trip with a 4-0 setback in San Jose. The Sharks scored twice in the first period and added two more goals in the second to earn Saturday's easy victory at HP Pavilion.

Colorado allowed the Sharks to score three times on six opportunities with the man advantage. Prior to Saturday's game, the Avs had killed off 15-of-17 penalties this season.

"We have to do a better job of staying out of the box," said Colorado head coach Joe Sacco. "Those two power-play goals in the first period were big and then we gave them more minors to work with. You can't win when you're playing short-handed all the time."

Semyon Varlamov was tagged for all four goals on 26 shots for the Avalanche and was pulled after two periods. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all 17 shots he faced in the third.

The Avalanche received a scare when captain Gabriel Landeskog was forced to leave Saturday's game after absorbing a big check from San Jose's Brad Stuart late in the first period. Fortunately, Landeskog returned to the ice in the second period but is not expected to play tonight.

Landeskog, who won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie last season, has one goal on the season.

Colorado is 0-2-0 on the road this season after going 19-18-4 as the guest in 2011-12. The Avs will also visit Vancouver and Calgary during their current road trip.

Justin Schultz (Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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