DENVER, CO – The Edmonton Oilers rallied in the third period, outshooting Colorado 12-3 and scoring the game-tying goal but it wasn't enough as the Avs ended up taking the game in a shootout, defeating the visitors by a score of 2-1 at the Pepsi Center on Friday night.
Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson was happy with the team's effort, particularly in overtime, but felt they needed to shoot more often.
“I thought our overtime period was a lot better than we’ve seen in the past where we had puck control, we had some really good quality chances," Nelson began. "But we have to shoot the puck in those situations. We had some Grade A chances where we tried to move it and I think if we shoot the puck we’ll be rewarded.”
“Third period, I thought we really took it to them for the most part," said Matt Hendricks. "We were able to draw some penalties, capitalize on the power play. It was a good effort tonight. Tough way to lose, but we get two out of four points on the road.”
The game was scoreless until 7:55 into the second period when Colorado got on the board. Matt Duchene took the puck behind the net before skating around and dishing it over to Briere out front who deposited the puck into the open net.
The goal came four minutes after Briere had the best chance of the game for either side, ringing a shot off the post behind Oilers starting goaltender Ben Scrivens after firing it from the right circle.
Nathan MacKinnon got two minutes for hooking Jeff Petry and with just under two minutes to play in the middle frame, Edmonton headed to its first power play of the night.
After 40 minutes, shots were 22-14 for Colorado.
“We had to regain a bit of focus," Hendricks said, of the team's mindset after two periods. "Nelly came in (during the intermission) and addressed the team saying we needed more energy, advance pucks north, get shots and put them in situations where they’re going to turn pucks over.”
The Avalanche came within inches of making it 2-0 early in the third with Scrivens down and out and the puck rolling along the crease but the Colorado players couldn’t get to the loose puck.
About a minute later, Edmonton headed back on the power play after Briere upended Gazdic.
Just before the penalty expired, Alex Tanguay received two minutes for hooking to send the Oilers back to the power play and it only took the Oilers 44 seconds to convert.
Benoit Pouliot swiped at a loose puck in front and it found its way past Varlamov to tie the game at 1-1.
It took the Avalanche until 7:15 remained in the third for them to register their first shot in the period. Shots at that point were 11-1 Oilers in the frame; 25-23 in the game overall.
Shots after regulation ended up being 26-25 for the Oilers.
The first power play of the game went to Colorado after Luke Gazdic received two minutes for slashing.
Shots on goal almost 13 minutes into the period were 7-3 for the Avalanche.
Matt Hendricks dropped the gloves with Cody McLeod with 4:14 to play in the first. Hendricks slipped early in the fight but recovered enough to get back on his feet and get a few shots in.
After one period, shots on goal were 10-9 for Colorado.