Colorado 4, Edmonton 2
Ryan Smyth tries to leap around Oilers defenceman Denis Grebeshkov.
- photo by Andy Devlin Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club
The Edmonton Oilers dominated the Colorado Avalanche for the final two periods but couldn't overcome an early 3-1 deficit, ultimately falling 4-2 to the Colorado Avalanche at Rexall Place Tuesday night.
Prior to the game, Ryan Smyth got a massive standing ovation from the sellout crowd following a video tribute shown on the jumbotron.
Dwayne Roloson made a huge save about six minutes into the opening period. With time winding down in a penalty to Denis Grebeshkov, Marek Svatos snuck in behind the Oilers defence to break in alone on the Oilers goaltender. He tried to go five hole but Roloson made the save.
Just before the midway point of period one, Tyler Arnason scored to give Colorado a 1-0 lead. Arnason carried the puck out of his own end up ice before unloading from the left circle.
Two minutes later, Sam Gagner
sprung Cogliano and Penner on a two-on-one. Cogliano fed the puck across to Penner who one-timed it past Budaj to tie the game at 1-1.
23 seconds later, Colorado scored to regain the one-goal lead. Jaroslav Hlinka netted his first career NHL goal from John-Michael Liles and Arnason.
With five minutes to go in the first, Mathieu Roy dropped the gloves with Ian Lapperiere. Roy held his own for most of the fight but the Avs veteran got the better of him in the late going.
Colorado increased their lead to 3-1 at the 18:43 mark. Jeff Finger took a wrist shot from the right circle that deflected off Denis Grebeshkov on its way to the net, somehow eluding Roloson.
Shots on goal after one period were 14-10 for Colorado.
Smyth had a good chance to score against his old mates about seven minutes into the second period. He wound up for a blast from the left circle that Roloson gloved out of mid-air.
Edmonton started to take over the game as the second period wore on. On one particular shift Hemsky, Torres and Horcoff kept the puck deep in the Avalanche end for almost an entire shift.
Hemsky picked up the puck off the end boards, skated around an Avs defender then fed a pinching Tom Gilbert
in the slot. Gilbert just missed with a deke move.
The Oilers finally received their first power play of the game with 1:32 remaining in the second. Wojtek Wolski was sent off for hooking to put Edmonton up a man.
Shots on goal in the second period were 12-4 for Edmonton, outplaying Colorado by a wide margin but neither team scored.
Edmonton's dominance finally paid off just past the midway point of the period. Gagner carried the puck behind the net where he attempted a wraparound. The rebound squirted to Penner who slipped it to a pinching Tom Gilbert
. Gilbert wired it top corner to make it a one-goal game at 3-2.
After the goal, the Oilers continued to dominate the game with the Avalanche just holding on to try and preserve their one-goal lead.
With just over two minutes to go Ales Hemsky
received a hooking penalty but great forechecking on the penalty kill by Cogliano resulted in a hooking penalty to Scott Hannan which breathed some new life into the Oilers.
The Avs ended Oilers fans hopes with an empty net goal by Brett Clark.
The Oilers announced during the game that defenceman Joni Pitkanen will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday due to cartilage damage in his left knee. He is out indefinitely.
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