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Red Hot Avs Beat Oilers 5-1

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Ian Laperriere had two goals and Tyler Arnason tied a career-high with three assists as the Colorado Avalanche won its fourth consecutive game with a 5-1 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday night.

The Oilers' losing streak reached 12 games. They have yet to win in their 11 games since trading forward Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders, and are nearing the team-record 14-game winless streak from the 1993-94 season.

Joe Sakic, John-Michael Liles and Brett Clark also scored for Colorado, while Patrick Thoresen had the only goal for Edmonton.

The Avalanche is 9-0-1 in their last 10 games and just four points behind the Calgary Flames for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Avalanche buried Edmonton quickly in this one, scoring 1:29 in. The Oilers couldn't clear a puck bouncing around in the crease in front of goalie Dwayne Roloson and Laperriere was there to swat it in.

Colorado quickly went up 2-0 as Andrew Brunette outmuscled Raffi Torres behind the Edmonton net and sent a backhand pass out front to Sakic. He one-timed his 31st goal of the season.

Colorado got another early goal in the second period against the injury-riddled Oilers. Arnason found Laperriere with a no-look backhand pass from behind the net and Laperriere scored on a wrist shot for his second of the night and a 3-0 lead.
The Avalanche chased Roloson at 14:17 of the second period as Liles scored on a power-play point shot.

Jussi Markkanen came on and didn't fare much better. The Avs went ahead 5-0 a minute and a half later when Clark converted a 2-on-1 pass from Brunette.

Edmonton beat Peter Budaj in the third period when Fernando Pisani picked off a pass while short-handed. Pisani saw the rebound of his shot squirt to Thoresen, who scored his first goal since Oct. 17.

Notes: The Oilers and Avalanche meet again here on Friday. ... With Calgary's 2-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday, the Oilers were officially eliminated from the playoffs, one year removed from playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. With nine games to go, it marked the earliest Edmonton has ever been knocked out of contention. ... With the Oilers out, veteran defenseman Steve Staios opted to have surgery on his left knee. Staios was one of 10 injured players missing from the Edmonton lineup. ... Budaj has played in all but four of the Avalanche's last 33 games. ... The Avalanche haven't missed the playoffs since moving to Colorado from Quebec City in 1995. ... Colorado's Paul Stastny was held pointless, ending his NHL rookie-record road scoring streak at 15 consecutive games.
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