The Oilers scored all four of their goals with the man advantage en route to a convincing 4-1 win over the Northwest Division rival Colorado Avalanche on Monday night at Rexall Place. Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff and Nail Yakupov each found the back of the net on the power play, while Devan Dubnyk was huge between the pipes with a 37-save performance. P.A. Parenteau scored Colorado's lone goal.
Take a closer look at the game as we go Under The Scope:
Ironically, the key moment in the game came as the Avalanche broke their goose egg and made it a 3-1 Oilers lead with 12:17 to go in the third period. Led by Devan Dubnyk, who made 23 saves in the final frame, the Oil locked down on defence from that point on to preserve the win.
Career points for captain Shawn Horcoff thanks to his PPG against Colorado, advancing him past Esa Tikkanen for 8th on the Oilers all-time scoring list. He's well back of former captain Doug Weight in 7th with 577 points.
Blocked shots by Ladislav Smid in the opening period, accounting for more pucks stopped than goalie Devan Dubnyk, who made just three saves for a shutout frame.
Goals scored by rookie winger Nail Yakupov this season, good enough for second among all first-year players. Fellow Russian Vladimir Tarasenko of St. Louis leads the way with four, but has played one more game.
For the second consecutive game, Jordan Eberle scored a phenomenal highlight-reel goal. The sniper took a drop pass from Taylor Hall and sent a laser beam off the crossbar and in over the shoulder of Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead in the opening frame.
Devan Dubnyk's workload got increasingly greater as the game went on, as he had to stop just three shots in the first and 11 in the second before turning aside 23 Colorado attempts in the final stanza to finish the game with 37 saves. The Avalanche were relentless in the third period, but Dubnyk stood tall – pun intended for the 6'5" puck-stopper.
Monday's contest was the kind of game Ladislav Smid has made a career out of, as he put in a warrior effort for the home side with five blocked shots and eight hits. Smid led the Oilers in blocked shots and was seventh in the NHL in 2011-12 with 184.
In their last 14 meetings with the division rival Avalanche, the Oilers have earned points in all but two games. Edmonton has won eight times with four shootout or overtime defeats.
"It's a positive when we work on something, the guys carry it out and have success with it. It was an excellent game and the kind we want to see on a nightly basis."
– Head Coach Ralph Krueger
Wednesday, January 30 vs. Phoenix 7:30pm MST (SNET-W / 630 CHED)
The Oilers embark on their first multi-game road trip of the season on Tuesday when they head south to the desert in preparation of Wednesday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes (7:30pm, Sportsnet West & 630 CHED). It's off to California after that for a rematch with the Sharks in San Jose.