Oilers melt Avalanche 5-1
|Colorado's Ryan Stoa attempts to outrun Edmonton's Theo Peckham Wednesday, Feb. 23 at Pepsi Center in Denver, CO. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)
Despite being out-shot 39-31, the Oilers significantly out-scored the Avalanche 5-1 Wednesday night, thanks in large part to strong specialty teams and solid goaltending from Devan Dubnyk
. Taylor Hall
, Jordan Eberle
, and Tom Gilbert
led the game with two points each.
Under the Scope
Colorado dominated the first 10 minutes of the game, testing Dubnyk with 11 shots while Edmonton got only one on Brian Elliott.
The Avalanche did suffer some setbacks, however. Bloody facial injuries to Ryan O'Byrne (cut by Hall's skate) and Cody McLeod (clipped by a teammate's stick) shortened the home bench early in the first. McLeod returned after seeking medical treatment.
Near the 14-minute mark, Colorado's Kevin Porter was called for high-sticking, and 29 seconds later, Edmonton found its second shot and first goal. Perfectly poised on Elliott's doorstep, Dustin Penner
tapped a bang-on pass from Shawn Horcoff
across the line to give the visitors a 1-0 lead on the power-play.
Despite tallying only three shots vs. the Avs' 13, the Oilers stayed on top until the buzzer.
By the seven-minute mark of the second period, Edmonton had tripled its shot count and doubled its lead. Capitalizing on a slew of players in Elliott's crease, Sam Gagner
snagged the puck and wristed it over the Avs goalie, setting the score 2-0.
Shortly after the goal, Theo Peckham
was called for hooking and the Avalanche benefited from their first power-play. Dubnyk and his penalty killers excelled during the two-minute stretch but had little time to rest as, only 38 seconds after Peckham left the penalty box, Horcoff assumed his spot. Those two minutes were also expertly killed.
Edmonton's persistence paid off with a man-advantage of their own later in the period. At the tail end of Philippe Dupuis' roughing minor, Hall pounced on Eberle's rebound and fired it past Elliott for his club's second power-play goal of the night and a 3-0 lead.
The Avalanche soon got that one back, however. One minute into a cross-checking minor to Jim Vandermeer
, Milan Hejduk deflected a sharp-angle shot off Dubnyk's shoulder and into the net, narrowing the visiting lead.
The 3-1 score held out until the buzzer, concluding a period in which the Avalanche out-shot the Oilers 16-13.
Colorado attained 30 shots early in the final frame and toed 40 by its midway point. At that time, Edmonton registered its 25th shot and fourth goal.
With help from Hall and Peckham, Eberle skated up the right wing and fired from a distance, tucking the puck into Elliott's short-side top pocket to set the score 4-1.
Less than two minutes later, defenceman Kurtis Foster
picked the same spot to score his second goal in as many games and increase the Oilers' lead to 5-1.
Edmonton successfully shut down Colorado in the remaning minutes of regulation, securing a 5-1 victory.
|Three star selections