Colorado at Edmonton

Anderson shows stuff again in Avalanche shutout, Wolski scores two

CBSSports.com wire reports
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EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Colorado Avalanche have been nearly unbeatable for the last 2 1/2 weeks.

Craig Anderson stopped 25 shots to record his second shutout of the season as the Avalanche earned a 3-0 victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Wojtek Wolski had a pair of goals as the Avalanche won their third in a row and seventh in their last eight (7-0-1). Colorado also improved to 5-0-1 in its last six games away from the Pepsi Center.

  Avs backup Budaj has swine flu | Edmonton's Smid, too

"I think overall it was a great team effort," Anderson said. "We didn't give them all that much and whatever we did, I was able to see and make the save and the guys were there to clean up the rebound. For the most part we took tha play to them and kept the puck in their zone."

Milan Hejduk also scored for the Avalanche (9-1-2), who visit Calgary, San Jose and Vancouver before returning to Denver for a three-game homestand.

"It was a very good road win," Hejduk said. "We had a good start and really kept the game in their zone. We created a lot of scoring chances. It was a good win."

The Oilers (6-5-1) have now lost three in a row and have not scored in their last seven periods, stretching to the second period of a 5-2 loss at Calgary on Saturday. Edmonton was then blanked 2-0 at Vancouver on Sunday.

"There is no excuse for the pucks we turned over," Oilers captain Ethan Moreau said. "We were stubborn with the puck. We didn't support each other. No goals in seven periods, the easy answer is the turnovers."

Oilers forward Sam Gagner said the team needs to turn its play around, and soon.

"We've got to play better if we intend to be a top team," he said. "Tonight we didn't even show up for the first period. We should be embarrassed to get shut out two games in a row."

Colorado beat Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on its first shot. Shawn Horcoff coughed up the puck in front of the Oilers net, and it was hammered home by Hejduk for his fifth of the season.

"They got that goal so early, it is like we weren't ready and that is supposed to be a coaches responsibility," Oilers coach Pat Quinn said. "We lost the opening faceoff, then our goalie threw it away, our defenseman threw it away and our center threw it away. The next thing you know it was in our net. The way they appear to be playing they needed the one-goal lead and then they went to the trap."

The Oilers committed several more turnovers, none more glaring than the one by defenseman Tom Gilbert with five minutes left in the first. Khabibulin bailed out his teammate with a save on a point-blank shot.

Colorado came close to making it a two-goal game with eight minutes left in the middle period as Scott Hannan fired a shot from the point that rang off the post. That led to a great chance for Edmonton as Gilbert Brule took the puck up ice and cut in on Anderson, but his backhand shot was stopped.

Colorado came close to scoring again six minutes into the third as a shot was lying on the goal-line with Ryan O'Reilly and Chris Durno banging at it before Khabibulin covered it up in the nick of time.

The Avalanche finally made it 2-0 midway through the third as Wolski cut in on net and waited for Khabibulin to go down before sliding it into the empty net.

Wolski was then awarded a second goal with the Edmonton net empty when he was hauled down en route to the net by Oilers defender Taylor Chorney.

Oilers defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky left the game early in the third and did not return.

After the game, the Oilers confirmed defenseman Ladislav Smid has the swine flu. Smid played 19 minutes 47 seconds in the game. The Oilers believe he is the only player on the team to have caught the virus.

Earlier in the day, the Avalanche announced backup goalie Peter Budaj is out with the virus and didn't accompany the team for the start of its four-game trip. Budaj has yet to start a game for Colorado this season with Anderson starting all 12 games this season.

Notes

  • Anderson extended an Avalanche franchise record for consecutive starts to begin the season and for wins in October.
  • The Oilers finally had some good news health-wise as Mike Comrie returned to the lineup after sitting out with the flu.
  • Both teams have a couple veterans back practicing and soon to rejoin their respective clubs from injuries. Avalanche D John-Michael Liles (shoulder) is expected to play during the trip. Edmonton F Fernando Pisani (back) practiced on Monday for the first time since the preseason and expects to be back in a week.
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Craig Anderson makes 25 saves for his second shutout and ninth win since the start of the season. (AP)
Craig Anderson makes 25 saves for his second shutout and ninth win since the start of the season. (AP)

Scoreboard
Colorado  (9-1-2) «1023
Edmonton (6-5-1)0000
Three Stars
C. Anderson
COL


Saves: 25
Save Pct.: 1.000
M. Hejduk
COL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
N. Khabibulin
EDM


Saves: 31
Save Pct.: .939
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
25.0Milan Hejduk (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hannan
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
09:34Wojtek Wolski (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Hejduk, Stastny
18:13Wojtek Wolski (7), Empty Net. Assist: Stastny, Foote
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:25Koci, 2 min, Roughing
02:25Stortini, 2 min, Roughing
02:54Smid, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
45.0Hemsky, 2 min, Hooking
11:59Durno, 2 min, Cross-Checking
13:43Galiardi, 2 min, Cross-Checking
3RD PERIOD
16:46Galiardi, 2 min, Roughing
16:46Gagner, 2 min, Roughing
18:48O'Reilly, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Colorado10101333
Edmonton771125
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Craig Anderson60:00250
Nikolai Khabibulin59:10302
Game Information
Attendance - 16839
Referees - Wes McCauley, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - Mark Shewchyk, Lyle Seitz
 
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