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Avalanche/Oilers Notebook

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche extended its winning streak to four games on Monday night in convincing fashion, skating to a 6-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Pepsi Center. Colorado has strung together two other four-game winning streaks this season, the most recent coming from Oct. 23-28.

A pair of Avalanche players led the way offensively – one much more likely than the other. Rookie Matt Duchene scored twice on shots from just outside the crease and also added an assist, while defenseman Kyle Cumiskey added a pair of tallies of his own.

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Cumiskey scored one of his goals following a nifty give-and-go with Paul Stastny and the other on a blast from the point with the Avalanche on a power play in the final frame. Cumiskey became the first Avalanche blueliner with a multi-goal game since Brett Clark on Dec. 7, 2006 at San Jose.

But Cumiskey and Duchene were far from the only standout performers in the victory. Defenseman John-Michael Liles tied a career high with three points (1g/2a) and Wojtek Wolski chipped in with three helpers of his own.

“Anytime you win it’s a lot more fun and I think going through the season we did last year wasn’t so much fun and you want to enjoy it when you win,” commented Liles. “Obviously the last few games we’ve been able to win and enjoy it.”

Anderson Pitches Shutout
One of the biggest factors behind Colorado’s current win streak has been the play of netminder Craig Anderson. The Illinois native was once again strong in goal, making 24 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season and the 11th of his career.

The four shutouts mark a career high for Anderson, who became the first Avalanche netminder to record that many shutouts in a single season since David Aebischer in 2003-04.

Anderson has been in net for each of Colorado’s past four games, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.44 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage.

“We played great tonight, we got out to an early lead. It relieves the pressure and it makes my job easier when we get a couple goal lead,” said Anderson. “Everybody’s buying into the system, we’ve got some great young players that have stepped up, everybody is playing together and doing their job and not worrying about what they can’t control. If we just keep believing in ourselves we’ll keep climbing the ladder; if we keep believing in here we can do anything.”

Stewart Still Strong
The evolution of Avalanche forward Chris Stewart continues, as the second-year player scored another goal during tonight’s win over Edmonton. At 6:25 of the middle frame, Stewart tipped home a Kyle Quincey blast from just inside the blue line. The goal was initially credited to the defenseman, but was given to Stewart following a review during the second intermission.

Stewart also picked up an assist on Cumiskey’s second goal of the game and is now averaging over a point-per-game during his past 26 contests, totaling 15 goals and 12 assists during that span. His goal tonight was his 16th overall this season, tying him with Wolski for the team lead.

Two Men Up, One On The Scoreboard
The Avalanche has possessed one of the league’s most potent 5-on-3 power plays all season, something the club showcased again tonight. Coming into Monday’s game, Colorado was tied for the league lead with five 5-on-3 power-play tallies.

At the 13:35 mark of the opening frame, Edmonton’s Sheldon Souray and Ethan Moreau were penalized for holding and hooking, respectively, and the Avalanche capitalized on the infractions.

A minute and 25 seconds into the two-man advantage, Duchene tapped in the rebound of a Wolski attempt from the high slot to put the Avalanche ahead, 2-0.

Century Mark
Forward David Koci played in his 100th career NHL game tonight. In his 100 career outings with Chicago, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Colorado, Koci has totaled two goals, one assist and 371 penalty minutes.

Loose Pucks
Defenseman Ryan Wilson suffered a head injury in the first period of tonight’s game and did not return after the first intermission…The Avalanche remained undefeated on Mondays, improving to 7-0 (2-0 at home, 5-0 on the road)…Colorado held a 34-24 shot advantage in the game… The loss dropped Edmonton to 1-14-1 in its last 16 games.

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