Heavyweights to Slug it Out
The Colorado Avalanche have already wrapped up the Central Division title and home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs, but suddenly find themselves two points behind Florida in the race for the most points in the NHL.
The teams rank second and third in the Western Conference in points percentage since the start of March and that is the headline in the Avalanche vs Oilers betting preview.
Both teams would be well advised to stay out of the penalty box. Colorado is first in the NHL with 66 power-play goals scored and Edmonton is fifth with 57. Edmonton’s power-play success rate has dropped a bit as the Oilers rank 11th in man-advantage goals since March 1.
Colorado ranks in the top five in goals per game, shots per game and power-play percentage while Edmonton is in the top 10 in all of those categories.
Edmonton has been favored in its last 10 home games. However, the Oilers will go into Friday’s game as the underdog. The Oilers outscored their opponents 9-4 in the last two contests when they were underdogs on home ice.
- Team records: Colorado 55-16-6 (first in Central Division); Edmonton Oilers (45-26-6, second in Pacific Division).
- Date: Friday
- Television/live stream: ESPN+
- Location: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Colorado Hopes for Return of Top Scorer
Just when the Colorado Avalanche appeared to be getting closer to full strength, another star player was sidelined.
Assists leader Nazem Kadri recently returned to the lineup after missing eight games. However, just as Kadri was returning to the ice, Mikko Rantanen, who leads the Avalanche with 36 goals and 91 points, was reduced to watching the last game from the press box.
Rantanen has a chance to return for Friday’s matchup, although with Colorado’s playoff positioning already locked up, the Avalanche will be cautious with any of the injured players.
Colorado will continue to be without forward Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Devon Toews while defenseman Erik Johnson is questionable for the Edmonton game. Rantanen’s status will be a key piece in the Avalanche vs Oilers betting preview.
With players coming in and out of the lineup, 18 different players have at least one point during the month of April for Colorado. Nathan MacKinnon leads the way with nine goals and 15 points.
Edmonton Getting Defensive in Playoff Push
In recent seasons, one could only wonder what could happen if the Edmonton Oilers put together a stingy defense to go with the dynamic 1-2 scoring punch of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
It has taken a while, but the Oilers are showing that they don’t need to rely only on their talented forwards to win games.
Edmonton is sixth in the NHL with a 2.71 goals-against average since the start of March. The team’s net penalty-killing percentage is the best in the league over that span as the Oilers picked up six points on division rivals Los Angeles and Vancouver and eight points on the Vegas Golden Knights.
Edmonton is sitting in second place in the Pacific Division with 96 points, two more than Los Angeles. Edmonton has two games in hand on Los Angeles so the prospects of having home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are looking very good.
Something to consider in the Avalanche vs Oilers betting preview: It doesn’t hurt that Edmonton is in better shape health-wise than the teams chasing them in the Western Conference. The only significant issue to monitor is forward Josh Archibald’s return from COVID protocols.
Avalanche vs Oilers Betting Guide
Considering all the high-end offensive talent on both rosters, it might be surprising to some that each of the last three games (all won by Colorado) has had a combined total of five goals. Although both teams have been playing well defensively down the stretch, the Colorado Avalanche vs Edmonton Oilers prediction is calling for more goals to find the back of the net in this one.
Four of the last 10 games between the teams have been decided by one goal while the home team has won four of the last five games, so keep those numbers in line when looking at the NHL’s best betting tips.
A win would clinch a third straight playoff spot for Edmonton, so look for the Oilers to have even more incentive to take down the top team in the Western Conference on Friday night.