Colorado at Edmonton

Oilers hand Avs third straight defeat


EDMONTON, Alberta -- Sam Gagner made the most of his move to the Edmonton Oilers' top line.

Gagner scored a pair of goals and added an assist and the Oilers snapped a two-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Gagner who came into the game with one goal in 21 games this season, said it was a relief to have a breakout game.

"It definitely feels good to turn things around," he said. "There have been times this year where it has been frustrating. You want to contribute to the wins and I have felt like the last little while I have been playing better. It's a good feeling."

The 22-year-old forward has 10 points in his past nine games.

Ben Eager and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Oilers (14-12-3), who had won just one of their previous six games.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists. He has 32 points this season, leading all rookies.

"It was huge for us to bounce back like this," Nugent-Hopkins said. "Tonight we stuck to the game plan and it really paid off. Especially against a team like this."

Oilers coach Tom Renney was glad to see his team return to form after a pair of sub-par performances.

"It was a much better effort," he said. "We had a bigger commitment to the little things that you need to pay attention to if you want to be successful.

"I got the sense this morning that the players had had enough and were going to do something about it."

Jay McClement scored for the Avalanche (13-16-1), who have lost three in a row and eight straight on the road.

"We got caught out of position too many times and they took advantage of it," Colorado captain Milan Hejduk said. "We need to play with more pride. We didn't execute.

"We got down early and started to try and chase the game. That's not how you win in this league. We have to have a hard look in the mirror and bounce back."

Edmonton opened the scoring six minutes into the game on a great individual effort by Gagner. He stole the puck from Shane O'Brien in the corner and went hard to the net, getting his own rebound off Kyle Quincey and tucking a power-play goal underneath Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

The Oilers made it 2-0 in the final minute of the opening period as Eager was allowed to get three whacks at the puck before finally chipping in his second of the season.

Colorado cut into the lead at 3:29 of the second period. Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin missed on an attempt to catch the puck as it came off the boards. It ended up in front of McClement, who swatted it in before Khabibulin could recover.

Edmonton went up 3-1 midway through the second period on a power-play goal as Nugent-Hopkins made a cross-ice feed through Gagner's legs to Eberle, who sent a shot into the net over Varlamov's shoulder. It was Eberle's 30th point of the season.

Khabibulin atoned for his earlier mistake as he stopped Daniel Winnik on a breakaway with seven minutes left in the game. He then stopped Winnik's rebound attempt and then another rebound shot by David Jones.

The Oilers made it 4-1 near the end of the second period as Nugent-Hopkins fed Gagner on a 2-on-1 opportunity for his second of the game.


  • Both teams had players out due to league disciplinary actions. Colorado's Kevin Porter is in the midst of a four game suspension for kneeing Vancouver's David Booth, while Oilers D Andy Sutton is suspended indefinitely for a hit on Carolina's Alexei Ponikarovsky on Wednesday, his second suspension of the season. Colton Teubert was called up to take his place.
  • Avalanche D Ryan Wilson (head) and F Paul Stastny (upper body) missed the game. The Avalanche put Stastny on injured reserve so they could call up rookie Brad Malone from the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters. Malone made his NHL debut against the Oilers.
  • After starting the season with six consecutive road wins, the Avalanche are 0-7-1 in their past eight games as the visiting team.
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Sam Gagner muscles his way for one of his two goals in Edmonton's win over Colorado.  (Getty Images)
Sam Gagner muscles his way for one of his two goals in Edmonton's win over Colorado. (Getty Images)
Colorado (13-16-1)0101
Edmonton  (14-12-3) «2204
Three Stars
S. Gagner

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
R. Nugent-Hopkins

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
N. Khabibulin

Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .966

Related Video

Scoring Summary
06:07Power Play - Sam Gagner (2), Snap Shot, Unassisted.
19:23 - Ben Eager (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Belanger, Jones
03:29 - Jay McClement (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Winnik, O'Byrne
10:36Power Play - Jordan Eberle (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Nugent-Hopkins, Petry
19:57 - Sam Gagner (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle
Penalty Summary
01:19Petry, 2 min, Cross-Checking
05:16Hejda, 2 min, Interference
07:15Quincey, 2 min, Slashing
36.0Lander, 2 min, Holding
05:31Peckham, 2 min, Holding
07:29Yip, 2 min, Interference
09:58Quincey, 2 min, Slashing
14:24O'Brien, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
Other Games
TOR 2 Final
FLA 1 Final
CAR 2 Final