Avalanche shutout Oilers 3-0
|Edmonton's Lubomir Visnovsky and Colorado's Matt Duchene battle for the puck Saturday, February 6 in Denver. The Avs went on to win 3-0. (Photo by MIchael Martin / Getty Images)
Despite being significantly out-shot from start to finish, the Oilers relied on goalie Jeff Deslauriers
to keep them in the game Saturday night in Denver. Deslauriers was exceptional by allowing only two goals on 41 shots, but so was his counterpart Craig Anderson.
By turning away all 20 Edmonton attempts, Anderson backstopped Colorado to a 3-0 victory, his third perfect game vs. the Oilers this season.
The Avalanche started strong and owned a 5-2 shot lead after the first 13 minutes of action, but a slashing minor to Kyle Quincey then put the Oilers on the attack. The visitors added two attempts on the opening powerplay but Anderson turned them away.
Three minutes later, Deslauriers was put to the test when the Avs tasted their first and second powerplays. Colorado dangerously swarmed the Edmonton net and attained a 14-4 shot lead, but the buzzer gave the Oilers a welcome reprieve and concluded a scoreless first period.
The Oilers started the middle frame on the penalty kill but outlasted Shawn Horcoff
's holding minor. Despite the return of five-on-five, the Avalanche continued to dominate the game, topped 20 shots, and got the opening goal.
Deslauriers scrambled to keep his foes at bay, but at the game's midway point, Wojtek Wolski wristed the puck across the line to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers had an excellent chance to tie it up when Mike Comrie and Patrick O'Sullivan embarked on a two-on-one, but Anderson quashed the rush before being bowled over by Ryan Potulny. Ethan Moreau was the next Oiler to cut in on the Avs net, but another save kept the visitors from getting back on even terms.
Although the Oilers got into the double digits in shots late in the period, the Avalanche overshadowed them with 29 by the time 40 minutes was up.
Early in third period, Oilers staff announced that Sam Gagner
would not complete the game due to a sore left knee. As a result, Marc Pouliot was promoted and helped Edmonton keep pace with the speedy Colorado club.
In the final 10 minutes of regulation, a holding minor to Adam Foote gave the Oilers their second powerplay. Anderson frustrated the visitors as they tried desperately to even the game, but with 12 seconds left in the penalty, Scott Hannan's clearing attempt flew over the glass, resulting in another penalty.
The Oilers clicked and hit 20 shots on the powerplays, but incredible stops by Anderson and a sliding save by Foote kept the visitors off the clock.
Once back at full-strength, the Avalanche regained control and swept into the opposite end. With less than three minutes left on the clock, defenceman Ryan Wilson fired from the point and slipped the puck past Deslauriers to make it 2-0.
Edmonton opted for six skaters in the final minute, but the open net only netted a third Colorado goal. The 3-0 loss marked Edmonton's third shutout loss of the season in Denver.
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