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Avalanche 7, Oilers 3 @NHL

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -Oilers coach Craig MacTavish had a feeling there would be a price to pay for his team's recent inconsistency.

Tyler Arnason had two goals and an assist, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 7-3 rout of Edmonton on Thursday night.

"When you have been playing the way we had been playing, you are ultimately going to have to face the reaper," MacTavish said. "That was the case tonight. The opposition hadn't been scoring on some of the quality chances we had been giving up, but tonight it came crashing down."

Marek Svatos also scored twice and Ken Klee had three assists for the Avalanche, who climbed over .500 and moved out of last place in the Northwest Division - just two points behind first-place Edmonton.

John-Michael Liles added a goal and two assists. Colorado also got goals from Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny.

"We just came out and played our game, and when you do that the other team is going to make mistakes," Arnason said. "We let them make it and we capitalized."

Joffrey Lupul, Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll scored for the Oilers, who gave up seven goals for the first time since a 7-1 loss to Colorado on Oct. 21, 2005.

Edmonton kept its dressing room closed for 14 minutes after the game.

"It was a disgrace," Smyth said. "I don't know exactly why we can't get up for a game like that. It's a divisional game and we should be coming out with a sense of urgency and we never had that."

Although the Oilers had four wins and an overtime loss in the previous five games, MacTavish said they were getting away from their game in several key areas.

"It was an upsetting game from a lot of standpoints. If you are struggling offensively, that's one thing. But we were cutting a lot of corners," MacTavish said. "Our checking in the neutral zone was lackluster, casual and lazy. Hopefully this is all that we need to snap us back to the attention-to-detail part of the game that we have to have to have success."

The Oilers opened the scoring 1:22 into the game when Raffi Torres shook off a check and passed the puck to Lupul for an easy tap in. It was Lupul's 100th career point.

The Avalanche responded quickly with two goals in less than 3 minutes. Liles tied the game with a slap shot from the left circle. Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled into the net.

Arnason gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when he picked up the puck in front of the Oilers' net, quickly spun around and roofed the puck over Roloson.

Edmonton tied the score just more than 11 minutes into the first when Shawn Horcoff sprung Smyth on a breakaway and he beat Peter Budaj through the pads for his 16th goal this season and the 250th of his career.

Colorado ended the high-scoring first with two late goals. Stastny, a rookie, tipped Liles' shot past Roloson with the teams playing 4-on-4 after both took too-many-men penalties. Arnason followed with his second of the night to give Colorado a 4-2 lead. Roloson allowed four goals on his first 10 shots.

The Avalanche scored again 34 seconds into the second when Hejduk rifled a shot over Roloson's right shoulder.

Svatos followed with his first of the game midway through the period, chasing Roloson. Jussi Markkanen came on in relief.

Svatos scored his second goal in the third period, stealing the puck at the blue line and deking past Markkanen.

Stoll capped the scoring with the game well out of reach.

"We got the result we deserved basically," Oilers captain Jason Smith said. "We didn't play well from start to finish. When you play like that you obviously don't win games. We have to be prepared to work every night. There are no easy games."

Notes: It was the third of eight meetings between the teams this season and the first in Edmonton. The Oilers won the previous two, both by one goal. ... The Oilers were still unsure how much time forward Ales Hemsky is expected to miss after he injured his right shoulder Tuesday night on a hit by Anaheim's Sean O'Donnell. Rookie Marc-Antoine Pouliot took Hemsky's place. ... Edmonton D Steve Staios returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a knee injury. Before that, he played 224 consecutive games dating to the 2002-03 season. ... Stastny is third among NHL rookies in points, and teammate Wojtek Wolski ranks fourth.

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