Colorado-Edmonton: Game Preview

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Colorado-Edmonton: Game Preview
In a matchup of two northwestern division rivals, there will be a lot at stake when the Avalanche play host to the Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Centre.

With both teams currently on hot streaks winning seven of their last eight games, the Avalanche have not only found themselves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, but at having a chance to win the division title.

The Oilers on the other hand, have also come on strong and are looking to close ground on the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Both teams are going to come out hard trying to get a critical two points.

Colorado will look to follow up a tremendous offensive display they put out on Tuesday against the Atlanta Thrashers in which they netted a rare five goals. While the Oilers are trying to build off a 4-3 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Both teams are continuing to play without key players in their lineups, but this should still prove to be quite a contest, as the Oilers and Avs always seem to put on a great display of hockey. Also, this season the rivalry has been heated up with Ryan Smyth signing a five-year pact with the Avalanche last summer. However, Smyth will be a game time decision for tomorrow night's game while he continues to recover from a minor concussion and a mildly separated shoulder.

Look for Jose Theodore to get the start in goal, as he has been stellar since the all-star break, giving the Avs a chance to win every night. While in goal for the Oilers will likely be Mathieu Garon, who has experienced a tremendous resurgence this season for Edmonton.

I would not be surprised to see this game come down to the wire or even for it to go into a shootout. The Oilers have won 14 of a possible 17 shootout games this season.

Prediction: Colorado 3-2 victory with the game winning goal scored by Milan Hejduk.
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