Drought continues: Oilers shutout 3-0 by Avalanche
|Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin makes a save on Colorado's Brett Clark during Tuesday's night's game at Rexall Place. The Avalanche went on to defeat the Oilers 3-0. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Colorado's Milak Hejduk hit the back of Nikolai Khabibulin
's net only 25 seconds into Tuesday night's game, and that goal would turn out to be the game-winner as the Avalanche defeated the Oilers 3-0. The loss marked Edmonton's second consecutive shutout loss, meaning the club will carry 141:25 scoreless minutes into Thursday's game vs. Detroit.
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Flying high with a 8-1-2 record, the Avalanche were quick to carry some of that success into Rexall Place. Only 25 seconds into the game, the puck bounced off Scott Hannan's skate and onto Milan Hejduk's stick, and the winger spun around and fired past Nikolai Khabibulin
to give Colorado an early 1-0 lead.
Coincidental roughing minors followed by a hooking minor to Ladislav Smid
gave the Avs a four-on-three powerplay two minutes after the goal, but the Oilers resisted the man-advantage to stay within one.
Although Edmonton managed a few excellent scoring chances, Craig Anderson kept the club off the board to send his team into the second period up one goal and 10 shots to seven.
630 CHED's Dan Tencer talks to Andrew Cogliano after the first period
A second Avalanche powerplay helped the visitors attain 15 shots by the midway point of the middle frame. The home team, by comparison, had tallied only one second-period attempt on Anderson, bringing their total to eight.
With eight minutes left on the clock, an Oilers rush led by Gilbert Brule
resulted in a pile-up in Anderson's crease. When the goalie emerged from the pile, he required brief attention from an Avalanche trainer before play resumed. The melee also netted a cross checking penalty to Chris Durno, offering the Oilers their first powerplay of the game.
Although a pair of close calls failed to produce the tying goal, Edmonton drew another cross-checking penalty, this time from TJ Galiardi, and enjoyed a 16-second five-on-three. Unfortunately, the team couldn't come together on the advantages and remained scoreless after 40 minutes.
Six minutes into the final frame, Khabibulin made a toe save along the line but was then overwhelmed by a mass of players. The Avs claimed it was a goal, but video replay proved inconclusive and the score remained 1-0.
A few minutes later, however, Wojtek Wolski made one stick. After embarking on a partial breakaway with young Oilers defenceman Taylor Chorney
chasing him down, Wolski managed to wrap the puck around Khabibulin's right skate to double Colorado's lead with 10 minutes left in regulation.
The Avs topped 30 shots with seven minutes left, while the Oilers hit 20 at the five-minute mark. Coincidental roughing minors, plus an Oilers empty net, gave the club a five-on-four advantage in the game's dying minutes, but as Wolski descended on the open net, he was fouled by Chorney, automatically resulting in a goal.
The rarely utilized rule sealed a 3-0 win for Colorado and marked Edmonton's second consecutive shutout loss.
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