Oilers rally falls short in shootout vs. Avs
|Edmonton's Ales Hemsky battles for the puck in Colorado goalie Craig Anderson's crease Thursday, Dec. 30 at Rexall Place. The Avalanche won the game 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Dylan Lynch / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
After allowing three goals in the game's first 15 minutes, the Oilers pulled up their bootstraps and scored three of their own to force extra time vs. the Avalanche. An exciting overtime whipped fans into a frenzy, but Colorado goalie Craig Anderson silenced the throng by stonewalling Oilers snipers in the shootout. With the lone shootout goal, Milan Hejduk secured a 4-3 victory for the Avs.
Under the Scope
, Ales Hemsky
, and Andrew Cogliano
crafted the Oilers comeback attempt with goals, while Devan Dubnyk
made 24 saves to help secure the single point.
The teams traded good scoring chances in the first few minutes of the game, but Dubnyk and Anderson came up with the stops. At 3:22, a third attempt by Colorado met no such resistance.
While down on the ice with a crowd of players in his crease, Dubnyk was unable to stop TJ Galiardi's centering pass from deflecting across the line, giving the Avalanche a 1-0 lead.
Colorado soared to a 7-3 shot advantage after the goal, and with 7:59 remaining in the frame, an eighth visiting attempt resulted in a second goal. From the low slot, Paul Stastny bounced the puck off Dubnyk's left post and into the mesh, making it 2-0 Avalanche.
The Oilers had little reprieve as the period continued. The Avalanche applied steady pressure, added two more shots, and then capitalized on a turnover, setting up Tomas Fleischmann for his tenth of the season and a three-goal cushion for the visitors.
After 20 minutes, Edmonton was down 3-0 and trailed 11-8 on the shot clock.
The Avs added three shots to their tally before a tripping minor to Sam Gagner
offered them the game's first man-advantage, but the Oilers ensured it was uneventful and successfully killed the two minutes. A holding minor to Greg Mauldin soon gave Edmonton the chance to test its power-play, with the same result.
Two minutes into five-on-five, however, the Oil got their goal. After snagging the puck behind the goal line, Gagner spotted Hall at the opposite corner of Anderson's crease, threaded him the puck, and watched the star rookie tap it in, setting the score 3-1.
A late roughing minor to Stastny gave Edmonton a chance to narrow the gap further. Although the home team couldn't beat Anderson on its four power-play attempts, the club continued to press after the penalty expired, eventually drawing a cross-checking minor from Ryan O'Byrne.
The penalty ensured the Oilers would start the final frame down two goals but up one man.
Although the Oilers couldn't beat Anderson on the man-advantage, Hemsky got it done near the two-minute mark of the third. After surging up the right wing and cutting to the slot, the speedy forward waited for the right moment and then wristed the puck top shelf to get the Oilers within one.
Almost exactly three minutes later, that same line evened the game. After receiving a feed from Dustin Penner
and circling the net, Hemsky fed Cogliano at the top of the crease, who fired home the equalizer with ease.
Edmonton maintained control as regulation wound down, eventually hitting 31 shots while Colorado sat in the mid-20s. Despite the extra attempts, a go-ahead goal stayed off the books and the game progressed to overtime.
Only 33 seconds into sudden death, Ladislav Smid
was called for holding and the Avalanche benefited from a two-minute four-on-three. Edmonton was excellent on the penalty kill, steadily clearing puck to frustrate their opponents.
Their efforts paid off with 1:40 remaining on the clock, as the Oilers drew a slashing minor from Daniel Winnik. Kurtis Foster
came close to sealing a win with a slapshot, but a quick glove snag by Anderson diffused the attack and pushed the game into a shootout.
Anderson stopped Jordan Eberle
's opening shootout attempt, but Dubnyk couldn't match with a save of his own, allowing Hejduk to score. Hemsky and Matt Duchene were both stopped in round two, and with a win resting on his shoulders, Hall was also unsuccessful, resulting in a 4-3 shootout victory for Colorado.
|Three star selections