NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Edmonton|
(Saturday, March 22nd)
Final Score: Edmonton 7, Colorado 5
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Sam Gagner scored the deciding tally in a wild
third period, and the Edmonton Oilers hung on to beat the Colorado Avalanche,
7-5, at Rexall Place.
The clubs combined for seven goals in the final stanza, with Colorado erasing
a three-goal deficit in a little more than 2 1/2 minutes. The Avs fell behind
only 18 seconds later, though, and never recovered.
Gagner recorded his first career two-goal game, and Ales Hemsky had three
assists for the Oilers, who have won four of five and pulled within three
points of Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western
Conference. Dwayne Roloson got the win, recording 29 saves.
"We wanted to play more loose and relaxed and have some fun out there," said
Gagner afterward. "When the team's going well it's a lot easier to have
individual success. There's been some big goals coming from everybody."
Milan Hejduk had a goal and an assist, and Joe Sakic had a pair of helpers for
Colorado, which has dropped four straight and holds a precarious two-point
lead over Nashville for that eighth spot. The Predators topped the Chicago
Blackhawks, 2-1, in a shootout on Saturday.
Jose Theodore had a disastrous outing for the Avs, allowing three goals on
eight shots. Peter Budaj stopped 17-of-20 the rest of the way.
Colorado played its second straight game without ailing center Peter Forsberg,
who remains sidelined with a groin injury. Forsberg has missed five of the
last six games, while defenseman Adam Foote sat for the fifth time in seven
games after aggravating a hip problem.
The Avs, who trailed 4-1 entering the third period, stunned the Oilers with
three goals in a span of 2:33.
Ruslan Salei got it started at 1:43 when his shot from the left point was
deflected on its way to the net. Wojtek Wolski then stationed himself at the
top of the crease and ripped a feed from Sakic top-shelf at 3:41, before
Hejduk tied it up and silenced the crowd when he wristed a shot that beat
Roloson to the blocker side at 4:16.
Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish quickly called a timeout to help the club
regroup, and just 18 seconds later, Marc-Antoine Pouliot knocked home a loose
puck during a scramble in front to give Edmonton a 5-4 lead.
Gagner sent a shot to the top corner to extend Edmonton's lead to 6-4 with
9:12 remaining. John-Michael Liles then tallied for the Avs with just 2:42 to
play, but Marty Reasoner was credited with a goal for Edmonton after he was
hooked on his way to an empty net with 10 seconds left.
"I've been around the game a number of years and you know that these things
can and do at times happen," said MacTavish, referring to the wild finish.
"Hopefully you can just draw on that experience to come back from it."
These teams meet again Wednesday at the Pepsi Center.
Edmonton wasted no time in jumping to a 1-0 lead, as Hemsky corralled the puck
and, in a two-on-two, sent a feed to Dustin Penner that he tapped past
Theodore just 50 seconds in.
Hemsky provided the magic again to make it 2-0, as he led an odd-man rush and
dropped a no-looked pass for the trailing Gagner, who fired a shot from the
inner edge of the left circle that beat Theodore to the far side at 11:30.
Fernando Pisani continued the rout and chased Theodore from the contest when
he one-timed a shot past the screened netminder about three minutes later.
The Avs cut it to 3-1 early in the second period, as Tyler Arnason scored on
the power play. The Oilers rebuilt their three-goal edge, though, when Kyle
Brodziak's wrister skipped through the five-hole of Budaj and trickled over
the goal line, giving Edmonton a 4-1 lead at 9:14.
Colorado had won eight of nine before its losing streak...With 16 multiple-
point games on the season, Hemsky now leads the team...Avs forward Paul
Stastny returned after missing a game with the flu...Both teams have six games
remaining in the regular season...Sakic recorded his 1,000th career NHL
assist, and finished the game with 1,001. Sakic has played 82 games against
Edmonton and has 35 goals and 60 assists for 95 points.
03/22 19:58:59 ET