|EDM||3||0||2||(0 - 0)||5|
|COL||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
Four powerplay goals were the difference as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on Sunday night.
The altitude seemed to have little effect on the Oilers as they opened the game with a feisty five minutes, tallying seven shots on Craig Anderson before the Avalanche could test Nikolai Khabibulin.
At that time, a hit by Colorado's Marek Svatos on call-up Liam Reddox resulted in a shoving match near Khabibulin's net and a boarding penalty to the Avs winger. Only 23 seconds into the powerplay, Mike Comrie stationed himself on Anderson's doorstep and tapped across a rebound to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
Colorado notched its first shot of the game on the first man-advantage, and although Khabibulin outlasted that two minutes, a fourth shot during Strudwick's infraction found its way through. With exactly 12 minutes on the clock, Svatos redeemed himself by wristing the puck home to tie the game at one.
Near the period's midway point, young defenceman Taylor Chorney blocked a shot with his face, prompting gasps from the crowd and quick reaction from Oilers trainer Ken Lowe. Chorney left the ice under his own power and returned to the bench after a quick visit to the locker room.
The penalties kept coming as the period progressed, and so did the powerplay goals. On Edmonton's second powerplay, defenceman Tom Gilbert teed up at the blueline and sunk a slapshot to renew his club's lead. Four minutes later, Dustin Penner doubled it by fooling Anderson from the inside of the right face-off circle.
The Avs were called for too many men in the final minute, ensuring the Oilers would start the second period up two goals, two men, and four shots.
Penalty killers and goaltenders prevented further scoring in the early part of the middle frame. The Avs hit 20 shots a few minutes in, but it would take 21 to get another past Khabibulin. At the five-minute mark, T.J. Hensick's shot was deflected into the net to get Colorado within one.
Good scoring chances for both sides were diffused by big saves and blocked shots in the middle part of the period. The Avalanche attained attempt number 30 with four minutes left on the clock; the Oilers were 10 shy.
Paul Stastny almost tied the game in the final few minutes of the period when he had a wide open net but Jason Strudwick batted the puck away from the yawning cage to preserve Edmonton's one-goal lead.
Despite trailing on the shot clock, Edmonton held on to its one-goal lead through 40 minutes.
Edmonton made it a two-goal lead 4:44 into the third with their fourth powerplay goal of the night. Ryan Potulny one-timed a blast that made it past Anderson for the goal.
However, the Avs responded shortly after to make it a one-goal game once again. During a goalmouth scramble, Khabibulin dove to poke the puck out of harm's way but it went right on the stick of David Jones who deposited it into the open net to make it 4-3.
Edmonton had its sixth powerplay opportunity of the night about 12 minutes into the third. Like the previous chances, they had plenty of great chances to score their fifth powerplay goal of the night but Colorado's penalty killing came up big.
Action was spirited and went end-to-end after the penalty expired. The best chance came on the stick of Liam Reddox as he broke in on a two-on-one with Andrew Cogliano. Reddox elected to take the puck deep and tried to beat Anderson through the five hole. However, the Avs netminder stood tall.
Edmonton didn't capitalize on their seventh man advantage - a Colorado two-man advantage - but shortly after it expired, they scored to make it 5-3.
Reddox picked up the puck in the corner, spun and backhanded it on goal. Andrew Cogliano was in front and he banged home the rebound.
|PPG - Mike Comrie (5) Backhand shot - ASST: Sam Gagner (7), Dustin Penner (11)|
1 - 0 EDM
|Marek Svatos (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Kyle Quincey (9), Paul Stastny (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Tom Gilbert (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Robert Nilsson (3), Ryan Potulny (1)|
2 - 1 EDM
|PPG - Dustin Penner (10) Slapshot - ASST: Patrick O'Sullivan (8), Lubomir Visnovsky (6)|
3 - 1 EDM
|TJ Hensick (1) Deflected shot - ASST: Brett Clark (6), Wojtek Wolski (7)|
3 - 2 EDM
|PPG - Ryan Potulny (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Denis Grebeshkov (6), Tom Gilbert (3)|
4 - 2 EDM
|David Jones (6) Backhand shot - ASST: Cody McLeod (3), Paul Stastny (14)|
4 - 3 EDM
|Andrew Cogliano (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Liam Reddox (1), Steve Staios (1)|
5 - 3 EDM
|Marek Svatos Boarding against Liam Reddox|
|Patrick O'Sullivan Slashing against Kyle Quincey|
|Jason Strudwick Roughing against Cody McLeod|
|Cody McLeod Roughing against Jason Strudwick|
|Ryan Wilson Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Chris Stewart Interference against Patrick O'Sullivan|
|Marek Svatos Too many men/ice - bench|
|Denis Grebeshkov Hooking against Wojtek Wolski|
|Mike Comrie Cross checking against Adam Foote|
|Zack Stortini Slashing against Philippe Dupuis|
|Cody McLeod Hooking against Lubomir Visnovsky|
|Philippe Dupuis Charging against Jason Strudwick|
|Marek Svatos Too many men/ice - bench|
|Adam Foote Game misconduct|
|SA: 37||TOI: 59:56|
|Saves: 34||EV: 22 - 25|
|PIM: 0||PP: 12 - 12|
|SV%: .919||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 32||TOI: 58:44|
|Saves: 27||EV: 22 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 9|
|SV%: .844||SH: 0 - 0|