Cincinnati.com
National Hockey League
Preview
Colorado at Edmonton
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta

The Colorado Avalanche are trying to adjust to life without No. 1 defenseman Erik Johnson as they continue their three-game road trip through Western Canada on Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers. Tyson Barrie joined Nikita Zadorov on the top blueline pairing Tuesday after Johnson was injured in Sunday's 4-2 loss to Edmonton, and recorded a goal and four assists while playing a career-high 29 minutes, 44 seconds in Colorado's 5-4 overtime victory at Vancouver.

The Avalanche, who also lost defenseman Anton Lindholm to an upper-body injury Sunday, are three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with three teams to pass. The Oilers have lost seven of their last eight games, including a 3-2 setback to Boston on Tuesday that leaves them in second-to-last place in the West and 19 points out of playoff position. “We just can’t catch a break,” Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot told reporters. “It’s the way the season’s going for us.” The Oilers evened the three-game season series Sunday in Denver behind a hat trick from Connor McDavid, who also scored twice in Colorado's 4-3 overtime victory in Edmonton on Feb. 1.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), Sportsnet One (Edmonton)

ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (32-23-4): Nathan MacKinnon (team highs of 25 goals and 65 points) scored in overtime Tuesday and also had three assists in his second game since missing eight with an upper-body injury. Mikko Rantanen (56 points) had a goal and two assists versus Vancouver while Gabriel Landeskog (44 points) added a goal and an assist as the No. 1 line exploded after being kept off the scoresheet Sunday. Semyon Varlamov (15-12-2, 2.87 goals-against average, .912 save percentage) is expected to make his third straight start in goal after Jonathan Bernier suffered a concussion during Colorado's 6-1 loss at Winnipeg on Friday.

ABOUT THE OILERS (24-31-4): McDavid (team highs of 26 goals and 69 points), who has six goals and 13 points in seven career games versus Colorado, recorded 11 goals in 10 February contests. Talbot is 20-23-2, 3.12, .903 this season after going 42-22-8, 2.39, .919 in 2016-17, when he helped Edmonton make the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. Defenseman Andrej Sekera (minus-10 in 18 games), who missed the first 34 games of the season with a knee injury and the last six after taking a puck to the face, could return Thursday.

OVERTIME

1. Barrie's five points Tuesday were the most in Quebec/Colorado franchise history by a defenseman in a regular-season game, giving him six goals and 36 points in 45 games this campaign.

2. The Oilers have lost 17 of the 19 games (2-15-2) this season when McDavid didn't record a point.

3. The Avalanche scored all their goals on the power play Tuesday after going 1-for-28 with the man advantage in their previous eight games, and face an Edmonton team that has the worst home penalty-killing unit in the NHL at an eye-popping 56.3 percent.

PREDICTION: Oilers 3, Avalanche 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Colorado 32-23-3-1 W1 20-8-1-0 12-15-2-1 3-3-0-1 29-20-3-0 7-9-0-1
Edmonton 24-31-3-1 L1 12-15-2-0 12-16-1-1 4-8-0-0 20-23-3-1 10-7-0-0
Last Meeting
Colorado Edmonton
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/18/18 EDM 4 COL 2 26 36 0-3 40 24 0-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Colorado T. Jost 1
Edmonton C. McDavid 3
Goals Player  
Colorado T. Jost 1
Edmonton C. McDavid 3
Assists Player  
Colorado A. Lindholm 1
Edmonton L. Draisaitl 2
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 36
Edmonton C. Talbot 24
Season
Total Points Player  
Colorado N. MacKinnon 71
Edmonton C. McDavid 79
Goals Player  
Colorado N. MacKinnon 29
Edmonton C. McDavid 29
Assists Player  
Colorado N. MacKinnon 42
Edmonton C. McDavid 50
Saves Player  
Colorado S. Varlamov 1013
Edmonton C. Talbot 1321
Quickchart Matchup
Colorado Off vs  Edmonton Def
3.1 GF
3.27 GA
29.5 Shots
31.1 Shots
45 PP
51 PK
Edmonton Off vs  Colorado Def
2.75 GF
2.98 GA
33.8 Shots
32.7 Shots
22 PP
35 PK