Late-game heroics propels Oilers over Avalanche
|Edmonton's Magnus Paajarvi fires the puck on net during Thursday's game vs. Colorado at Rexall Place. The Oilers won the game 3-2. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Despite giving up an early lead and finding themselves clinging to a 2-2 tie late into the third, the Oilers sent fans home happy Thursday night.
Under the Scope
Following first-period goals by Gilbert Brule
and Andrew Cogliano
, rookie Taylor Hall
scored his first career game-winner with only 28 seconds left in regulation. At the other end of the ice, Martin Gerber
backstopped the 3-2 victory by making 35 saves.
It took nearly two minutes before either club registered a shot, but the first attempt made a grand debut. Poised just off the Avalanche net, Brule completed a spectacular diving centering pass that deflected under Peter Budaj to put the Oilers up 1-0.
Two minutes later, Cogliano got in on the action. With help from Tom Gilbert
, the forward snagged the puck at the corner of the crease and backhanded it across the line to double Edmonton's lead on only two shots.
Colorado soon got that one back, however. At 5:50, Kevin Shattenkirk wristed the puck under Gerber to set the score 2-1.
With the Avalanche holding a 7-2 shot lead, Zack Stortini
checked Kyle Quincey into the end boards, triggering the wrath of Cody McLeod. Both players earned roughing minors, while McLeod added an extra 10-minute misconduct.
The four-on-four failed to change the score, and the 2-1 game persisted into the second period.
The Oilers started the middle frame on the attack, but at 1:38 the club went on the defensive when Kurtis Foster
was called for hooking. Gerber came up with a pair of big saves, but when the goalie was caught outside his crease, Matt Duchene slipped in and fired the puck past impromptu netminder Theo Peckham
to tie the game at two.
At the game's midway point, the Avalanche had attained 20 shots while the Oilers were stuck at seven. A hooking minor to Ryan Whitney
helped the visitors grow 20 into 25, but Gerber turned away the power-play attempts to keep it even heading into the final frame.
An early holding minor to Duchene helped Edmonton gain some ground on the shot-clock, but in between home attempts, Colorado managed to hit 30 shots.
The Oil started to flow as regulation wound down, but Budaj withstood the assault ... until 19:31. At that time, the puck passed from Gerber to Eberle to Taylor Hall
's tape, and the first-overall pick completed the rush with a clean wrist-shot into the mesh.
The goal blew the roof off Rexall Place and salvaged a 3-2 win for the Oilers Thursday night.
|Three star selections