The sliding Edmonton Oilers will try to give hope to their vanishing playoff dreams when they visit the last-place Colorado Avalanche in Friday's game at the Pepsi Center.
The Oilers are 10 points out of a playoff spot with six games remaining on their schedule, meaning the club is likely to miss the postseason for the seventh straight spring.
With regulation losses in each of its last six games, Edmonton hasn't been playing like a team desperate to make the postseason. The Oilers' skid reached season-worst proportions on Tuesday, when they were handed a 5-3 setback by visiting Minnesota.
Kyle Brodziak scored twice and Niklas Backstrom made 16 saves to lead the Wild past Edmonton. Nail Yakupov had a goal and an assist for the Oilers, while Devan Dubnyk gave up all five goals on 30 shots against. Taylor Hall added two assists in the loss.
"As the season goes on you have to improve, you have to get better ... and we've gone down," Hall said.
The current six-game slide is the worst losing streak for Edmonton since an 11-game rut from March 8-31, 2011.
The Oilers also have lost three straight on the road and are 8-11-3 as the visiting club this season.
Although Colorado has been officially eliminated from the playoffs, the West's worst team has gained a point in each of its last four games, going 2-0-2 over that stretch.
The Avalanche, who are headed for a third straight spring without a postseason, led visiting Columbus by a 3-2 score on Monday after Jamie McGinn's power-play goal with 2:02 left in the third period, but the Blue Jackets stormed back to win the test in overtime. R.J. Umberger scored for Columbus with 1:27 left in regulation and Nick Foligno notched the game-winner with just 29 seconds remaining in OT.
Cody McLeod scored two goals and Stefan Elliott also lit the lamp for the Avs, who have dropped seven of their last nine.
"We worked hard tonight, we just couldn't get it done," McLeod said.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 26 saves in defeat for the Avs, who are 11-7-3 in Denver this season and are playing the third test of a four-game homestand on Friday.
The Avalanche have lost three of four against Edmonton this season and the clubs have split the past 12 encounters overall. The Oilers have dropped four of six at the Pepsi Center.