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game recap

Landeskog returns, helps Avalanche top Oilers

Captain has goal, assist in first game back from suspension; Pickard makes 26 saves

by Derek Van Diest / Correspondent

Landeskog's beautiful goal

COL@EDM: Landeskog opens the scoring in the 2nd

3/20/16: Gabriel Landeskog receives Carl Soderberg's feed and slips it into the net to open the scoring in the 2nd

  • 00:55 •

EDMONTON -- Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist in his return from a three-game suspension, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 at Rexall Place on Sunday.

The Avalanche (38-31-4) lead the Minnesota Wild by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout Sunday to briefly take over the West's final playoff position.

Tyson Barrie and Blake Comeau scored for Colorado in its third consecutive win to end a four-game road trip.

"I felt good." Landeskog said. "It's tough watching, and I was hungry and ready to go. But the guys have done a great job throughout the road trip to make sure we're in a great spot, and I was just hungry to come out and help out."

Video: COL@EDM: Barrie puts the Avalance up two in the 2nd

Landeskog, who was suspended for a cross-check to the head of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Simon Despres on March 9, opened the scoring at 1:19 of the second period. The Avalanche captain knocked over Oilers defenseman Griffin Reinhart with a big hit in the corner, creating a turnover. Landeskog then circled the net and took a pass from Carl Soderberg in front before skating around goaltender Laurent Brossoit and slipping the puck past him.

"Carl made a good play to me to basically give me a breakaway coming out of the corner," Landeskog said. "It felt good putting that one in."

Colorado goaltender Calvin Pickard made 26 saves for his second win against Edmonton.

"We played really well," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I thought we had a great start and our power play was outstanding. Our puck possession was outstanding, we were able to hold on to the puck in the O-zone and we had a lot of shots. I was very happy with the performance of the team."

Video: COL@EDM: Comeau tips in Johnson's wrister

Matt Hendricks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the Oilers (29-39-7), who went 2-3-0 on a five-game homestand and were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.

Brossoit made 22 saves. He has not won an NHL game in five starts (0-4-1).

"It's another loss and I want to contribute in a positive way, and I still have yet to do that," Brossoit said. "I need to make more adjustments, more work to do. The win is the most important part. I couldn't care less about my statistics, I want the win."

Barrie gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 11:31 of the second, two seconds after a roughing penalty to Oilers forward Zack Kassian expired. Barrie took a shot from the point that hit Edmonton defenseman Mark Fayne in front and redirected past Brossoit.

Video: COL@EDM: Pickard snags Yakupov's backhand

Later in the period, the Oilers had an excellent opportunity when Mark Letestu was set up in front on the power play, but his shot was kicked away by Pickard.

"For me, the difference was the power play," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "There's nothing close. Their power play zipped it around. We couldn't win faceoffs, so they stayed in our end for two minutes, zipped it around, scored goals and lined up again. And ours turned it over and went to break out again, and then turned it over and went to break out again and then -- guess what -- we turned it over again."

Edmonton was 0-for-4 on the power play. Colorado had two man-advantage opportunities, getting the Barrie goal shortly after the first one ended and scoring on the second.

"We just weren't sharp enough on our power play," Letestu said. "We got a few looks, but it wasn't where it needed to be to get us a win.

Video: COL@EDM: Hendricks' goal cuts the deficit to one

"It's disappointing. We wanted more than two wins out of this homestand. There are some games that we were in that we should have taken advantage of. Tonight was one of those games where it was a desperate team battling for the playoffs. It really showed early on. Their pace was higher than ours. It took us a little while for our legs to get into it. We need to use these teams as measuring sticks. Their preparation was better than ours, and it cost us."

Hendricks scored at 2:53 of the third period to cut Colorado's lead to 2-1. He took a pass in front from Letestu, who was first to the rebound following a point shot from Kassian, and slid the puck past Pickard.

Comeau scored on the power play at 9:09 to give Colorado a 3-1 lead, redirecting a pass from Erik Johnson past Brossoit.

Nugent-Hopkins scored with 7.6 seconds left and Brossoit on the bench for the extra attacker, one-timing a pass from McDavid past Pickard.

Video: COL@EDM: Nugent-Hopkins brings Oilers closer

"I saw pretty much all the shots," Pickard said. "It was tough to give up that goal late. It would have been nice to have that one, but all the way through, our PK was huge. I saw a lot of shots on the PK, and they were clearing rebounds in front of me; it was great."

The Avalanche host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and the Wild on Saturday.

The Oilers begin a three-game road trip Tuesday at the Arizona Coyotes.

"We want to get a win for [Brossoit], he deserves a win from our group," Hendricks said. "We have to play better in front of him. He played great tonight, especially early on. [The Avalanche] are a detailed team, you can tell they are well-coached. They play kind of a suffocating game, especially in the neutral zone. It looks like there is time and space, and the next thing you know they are all over you and you are turning over pucks at their blue line. They are a good hockey team and they have some good leaders."

Video: Avalanche win another game against Oilers, 3-2

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