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game recap

Oilers win, tie for second place in Pacific Division

Score five goals in third period to defeat Avalanche

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- The Edmonton Oilers moved into a tie for second place in the Pacific Division, scoring five goals in the third period for a 7-4 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

The Oilers (40-25-9) and Anaheim Ducks have 89 points, two points behind the San Jose Sharks. Anaheim and San Jose each has a game in hand on Edmonton.

Drake Caggiula scored with 2:11 left to give the Oilers a 5-4 lead with his first goal in 19 games before Jordan Eberle, with his second goal of the game, scored into a vacated net at 18:50 while goalie Jeremy Smith was trying to leave the ice for a sixth skater. Leon Draisaitl scored into an empty net at 19:19. 

Zack Kassian, Milan Lucic and Andrej Sekera also scored for the Oilers. 


WATCH: All Oilers vs. Avalanche highlights


"A lot of mixed emotions with tonight's game," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "I didn't think we were the best team and we were lucky enough to win the game. Had a little bit of puck luck. There's some things we've got to fix that have shown up in the last few games. I don't know what it is, but we didn't look very sharp and they did."

Laurent Brossoit replaced Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot to begin the third period and stopped six shots. Talbot allowed four goals on 15 shots. 

"He was very good," McLellan said of Brossoit, who replaced Talbot on Wednesday in a 4-3 loss to the Ducks. "There's no other way to put it and we're really happy for him. He's worked really hard for those opportunities and we'll see down the stretch what we can get him."

Video: EDM@COL: Eberle scores second goal into empty net

Mikko Rantanen scored twice for the Avalanche (20-50-3), who also got goals from J.T. Compher and Rene Bourque. Colorado has lost four consecutive games and six of the past seven. 

"It looked like we were scared to lose," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "There's no reason for our team to be scared to lose, we've lost enough. We have nothing to lose. We should be thriving in some of those moments. We're playing an unreal hockey game, we're making plays, we're scoring nice goals, we're in complete control of the game."

The Oilers closed to 4-3 at 2:44 of the third period when Kassian tapped a loose puck behind Smith, and Eberle made it 4-4 with a shot from the slot at 4:34.

Caggiula, who hadn't scored since Jan. 26 against the Sharks, skated down the slot to give Edmonton a 5-4 lead, its first of the game. 

The Avalanche took a 4-2 lead with goals from Rantanen and Bourque in the second period after Lucic tied the game 2-2 with a tap-in 26 seconds into the period.

Video: EDM@COL: Rantanen buries a slapper for second goal

Rantanen made it 3-2 at 4:22 with a one-timer from the right circle off a pass from Nathan MacKinnon for his 16th goal, and Joe Colborne fed Bourque from behind the net at 17:45 for his 12th. 

The Avalanche took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals from Rantanen and Compher before the Oilers drew to 2-1 on Sekera's goal with 31 seconds left. 


Goal of the game

Draisaitl made a perfect pass to Caggiula, who had room skating down the slot as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins drove back the Avalanche defense. "I probably couldn't have gotten a better pass," Caggiula said. "That was perfect, right on the tape with a lot of speed coming through the middle."

Video: EDM@COL: Caggiula nets go-ahead goal with backhand


Save of the game

Talbot stopped Rantanen's one-timer at 7:52 of the second period.


Highlight of the game

Kassian glanced behind Smith, who had made a save, and saw the puck sitting in front of the goal line. Avalanche forward John Mitchell saw it too, but Kassian swooped in for an easy tap-in. "I was surprised the refs didn't blow the whistle because the puck sat there so long," Kassian said.

Video: EDM@COL: Kassian cleans up loose puck with backhand


Unsung performance of the game

Oilers defenseman Kris Russell deflected a point-blank shot by Sven Andrighetto on a third-period Avalanche power play with the score 4-4. It was one of five blocked shots by Russell.


They said it

"It didn't seem like a 7-4 game. The first two periods we weren't at our best. We had a pretty tough talk among ourselves. We had the resiliency to come back and have our best performance." -- Oilers forward Drake Caggiula  


"We gave up some bad goals. I thought our goalie let in a couple bad goals." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on Jeremy Smith, who allowed six goals on 29 shots


Need to know

Oilers center Connor McDavid had two assists and leads the NHL in scoring with 87 points (26 goals, 61 assists). He has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in a six-game point streak ... Draisaitl is the first Edmonton player with six consecutive multipoint games since Mark Messier from Jan. 16-30, 1990. Draisaitl has three goals and 10 assists in the six games. ... The Oilers killed all three Avalanche power plays and have killed 19 of 21 penalties in the past eight games ... Colorado is 2-for-47 on the power play in the past 19 games.


What's next

Oilers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ALT, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: At the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, ALT, NHL.TV)


Video: Huge 3rd period leads Oilers to 7-4 win vs. Avs

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