Colorado at Edmonton

Oilers edge Avalanche to inch closer to final playoff spot in West wire reports

EDMONTON, Alberta -- If the Edmonton Oilers get into the playoffs, it will be via the hard route.

Sam Gagner scored twice and the Oilers edged closer to Colorado in the Western Conference postseason race with a 7-5 victory over the Avalanche on Saturday.

Dustin Penner, Fernando Pisani, Kyle Brodziak, Marty Reasoner and Marc Pouliot also scored for the Oilers.

Tyler Arnason, Ruslan Salei, Wojtek Wolski, Milan Hejduk and John-Michael Liles responded for the Avalanche.

It was the 11th win in the last 14 outings for the Oilers, who moved three points back of Colorado for the eighth and final playoff position in the Western Conference.

"I'm down to my last nerve," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "It wasn't easy. It should have been a lot easier than it was. We had a great start and then we lacked a little composure in those key situations. Perhaps the youthfulness comes into play. The good thing is that we are getting the experience and still winning the games."

The Avalanche (39-31-6) went winless on their three-game road trip and have lost four straight.

The Oilers got their crowd energized early, scoring on their first shot 50 seconds in. Ales Hemsky fed a pass through Avalanche defender Jeff Finger to Penner who beat Jose Theodore for his 21st of the season.

Edmonton took a two-goal lead midway through the opening frame as Hemsky made a behind-the-back pass to Gagner, who rifled the puck past Theodore.

Pisani made it 3-0 late in the first and Peter Budaj came in to replace Theodore.

The Avalanche cut into the lead five minutes into the second as Arnason sent a backhanded chip shot in off Dwayne Roloson's shoulder.

Edmonton restored its three-goal advantage when Brodziak scored on a breakaway, tucking the puck under Budaj's arm.

Colorado caught a break early in the third as Salei's long dump-in from the point caromed off the knee of Oiler defender Denis Grebeshkov and through Roloson's legs to make it 4-2.

Joe Sakic set up a goal by Wolski and then Hejduk knotted the score 35 seconds later.

The Oilers regained the lead 18 seconds later. Pouliot came out from behind the net and swatted in a rebound for his first of the season.

The 18-year-old Gagner made it a two-goal lead again, but with 2:42 left Liles made it 6-5, when his pass from behind the net hit defenseman Tom Gilbert and went into the Oilers' net.

"We were able to battle through the adversity and that's a big building block for the team," Roloson said. "We took a couple steps backwards in our last game but we found a way to get moving forward again."

Reasoner was awarded a goal with 10 seconds remaining even though the puck didn't go in. He was hooked by Paul Stastny while going in with a clear shot at an empty net.

"We'd certainly have liked to have grabbed something out of this one," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was a tough trip, but we still control where we're heading and it's up to us to pick it up. We lost three tough games, all one-goal games.

"We have to find a way to get some momentum at home."


  • Sakic's second-period assist was the 1,000th of his career. He leads active players and became the 11th player in NHL history to hit the milestone.
  • Colorado C Peter Forsberg missed another game with a groin injury.
  • Roloson made his fifth consecutive start.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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The Avs' Ian Laperriere (14) and Steve Staios get down and dirty in the first period.  (Getty Images)
The Avs' Ian Laperriere (14) and Steve Staios get down and dirty in the first period. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Colorado (39-31-6)0145
Edmonton  (38-33-5) «3137
Three Stars
S. Gagner

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
A. Hemsky

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
J. Sakic

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
50.0Dustin Penner (21), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ales Hemsky, Joni Pitkanen
11:30Sam Gagner (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ales Hemsky, Denis Grebeshkov
14:29Fernando Pisani (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Marty Reasoner
04:58Power Play - Tyler Arnason (10), Backhand Shot. Assist: David Jones, Joe Sakic
09:14Kyle Brodziak (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Joni Pitkanen
01:43Ruslan Salei (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Milan Hejduk, Paul Stastny
03:41Wojtek Wolski (17), Snap Shot. Assist: Joe Sakic, Andrew Brunette
04:16Milan Hejduk (23), Snap Shot. Assist: Ryan Smyth, Paul Stastny
04:34Marc-Antoine Pouliot (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Marty Reasoner, Fernando Pisani
10:48Sam Gagner (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner
17:18John-Michael Liles (5), Tip-In, Unassisted.
19:50Marty Reasoner (10), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
03:11Laperriere, 5 min, Fighting
03:11Staios, 5 min, Fighting
07:58Jones, 2 min, Hooking
09:19Nilsson, 2 min, High-Sticking
14:55Greene, 5 min, Fighting
14:55McLeod, 5 min, Fighting
18:56Pitkanen, 2 min, Cross-Checking
04:41Gagner, 2 min, Hooking
06:20Jones, 2 min, Slashing
15:51Smyth, 2 min, Boarding
06:38Leopold, 2 min, Cross-Checking
08:13Nilsson, 2 min, Slashing
14:11Greene, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
Shots On Goal
Peter Budaj45:12173
Jose Theodore14:2953
Dwayne Roloson60:00295
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Steve Kozari, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Brad Kovachik, Mark Wheler
Other Games
Bos 2 Final
Mon 3
Chi 1 Final
Nash 2
Ana 2 Final
Pho 1
TB 2 Final
Fla 4
Min 4 Final
Cal 5
Tor 5 Final
Ott 4
Det 4 Final
Colu 1
NJ 1 Final
Pitt 7
LA 4 Final
Dal 2