Oilers rally stalls in shootout, Avs win 3-2
|Edmonton's Jordan Eberle tries to keep the puck away from Colorado's John-Michael Liles Saturday, March 19 at Rexall Place. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
A late equalizer courtesy of Kurtis Foster
secured at least one point for the Oilers Saturday night, but a strong overtime and shootout performance from opposing goaltender Brian Elliott ensured the Avalanche finished with two, ending their 10-game losing streak.
Under the Scope
scored Edmonton's first goal, while Nikolai Khabibulin
finished with 25 saves in the loss.
It didn't take long for this divisional dust-up to get testy. Only 11 seconds after opening puck drop, Ryan Jones
and Erik Johnson dropped their gloves near the benches, resulting in a lengthy brawl that Jones capped with a pair of upper-cuts. Fighting majors were assessed.
Two minutes after the fight, Jim Vandermeer
was called for slashing. Khabibulin turned away the lone visiting power-play shot, however, and the Oilers survived the two minutes unscathed.
The Avalanche couldn't score during their man-advantage, but Matt Duchene accomplished the feat near the period's midway point. After gaining the puck in the neutral zone, the speedy sophomore surged up the right wing, cut towards the net, and forced the puck past Khabibulin to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.
At 11:40, Linus Omark
created Edmonton's first power-play by drawing a tripping minor from Brandon Yip. Eberle cut the man-advantage in half, however, by adding a high-sticking minor to the scoresheet.
Those power-plays passed without incident, but the penalties kept coming. With Colorado's Ryan Wilson serving a roughing minor, the Oilers crashed Elliott's crease with just over two minutes remaining on the clock. The effort resulted in a possible goal, but after video review, officials ruled against it.
As a result, Edmonton headed to the middle frame trailing one goal and four shots.
The Oilers and Avalanche took turns with excellent scoring chances through the first half of the second period, but goaltenders prevailed.
With 7:22 remaining in the frame, Cody McLeod clipped Teemu Hartikainen
on the chin with his stick, drawing blood and double minor for high-sticking. 30 seconds into the extended power-play, Eberle danced in on net and backhanded the puck past Elliott to tie the game at one.
Four minutes later, the Avs got that one back. Capitalizing on inexperience in the Oilers zone, Kevin Porter benefited from a take-away and wristed the puck past Khabibulin to renew the visiting lead.
The goal sealed 40 minutes from which the Avs emerged with a 2-1 lead and 21-13 shot advantage.
Edmonton excelled in the early part of the third, tallying 13 shots vs Colorado's five by the 15-minute mark.
The pressure paid off with a second Oilers goal one minute later. Catching a centering pass from Omark, Foster surprised Elliott by sneaking up and tapping the puck into the net to tie the game 2-2.
The stalemate lasted until the buzzer, and the game headed to overtime.
Omark's spectacular play continued in sudden death. With 1:23 remaining in the extra period, the Swedish forward drew a hooking minor from Jonas Holos to offer the Oilers a final key power-play.
Although Edmonton cracked 30 shots on the man-advantage, they couldn't crack Elliott. The game progressed to a shootout.
Strong goaltending and sturdy posts prevented the first seven shooters from lighting either lamp. Then came Colorado's Ryan Stoa, who skated up and went top shelf on Khabibulin, sealing a 3-2 shootout win for the visiting Avalanche.
|Three star selections