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Avalanche win 7-3 over Oilers

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Colorado had the first scoring chance of the game when winger Marek Svatos backhanded a shot to the right of Roloson. The shot rang off the post and bounced out of harm's way.

Coming back the other way, Raffi Torres found Joffrey Lupul on a two-on-one for a nice tap-in low glove side by Avalanche starting netminder Peter Budaj.

Roloson had to come up big on his first two shots of the night. A weird bounce gave Wojtek Wolski the puck alone in the slot. He attempted a backhand deke but it was kicked away. Peter Stastny's rebound at the top of the crease was also stopped.

A minute later, John-Michael Liles teed up a blast from the left circle that Roloson got a piece of but the puck had enough force to trickle across the line.

Colorado tallied again several minutes later to take their first lead of the game. The Oilers had some trouble getting the puck out of the zone and eventually Tyler Arnason was alone in the slot for a great scoring chance. He made no mistake, roofing it top corner to make it 2-1.

After the Avalanche goal, the Oilers started to pick up their play. The line of Petr Sykora, Toby Petersen and Marc-Antoine Pouliot had the Avs pinned in their end for the entire shift.

A couple of minutes after those chances, Shawn Horcoff chipped the puck ahead to Ryan Smyth, sending him in alone. Smyth made no mistake, shooting the puck five-hole along the ice to tie it up at 2-2.

In an odd quirk, with five minutes to go in the first both teams received two-minute minors for too many men.

During that four-on-four situation, the Avs struck again to take a 3-2 lead. Stastny tipped a wrist shot from Liles, who was stationed at the right point.

Less than two minutes later, Arnason blasted his second of the game when he slapped the puck from the top of the left circle. The shot handcuffed Roloson and gave Colorado a 4-2 lead.

After one period, Colorado had a 10-7 edge in shots on Edmonton.

Colorado started the second period on the power play and capitalized early. 34 seconds in, Milan Hejduk rifled a shot past Roloson to give the Avs a three-goal edge at 5-2.

Seven minutes into the middle frame, Roloson made a huge stop to keep the game within reach. Wolski took the puck behind the net before passing it into the slot to Stastny. His one-timer was snagged out of the air by the Oilers goaltender.

Roloson came up big again two minutes later, gloving a low Joe Sakic wrister off a rush.

However, on the next shift, the Avs struck again to make it 6-2. Marek Svatos swatted the puck out of the air with a backhand, spelling the end of Roloson's night.

Near the end of the second, the Oilers almost got their third of the game. After a penalty to Reasoner expired, he rushed up the ice with Horcoff and Stoll. Reasoner tried to feed Stoll on the open side but the puck didn't quite make it across.

After two, shots on goal were 22-17 for Colorado.

The Avalanche increased their lead to 7-2 3:34 into period three. Svatos created a turnover in the neutral zone before breaking in alone on Jussi Markkanen. After a deke move, he found an opening and put it behind the Oilers netminder.

Jarret Stoll got a late goal, assisted by Petr Sykora and Marc-Antoine Pouliot to make it 7-3. Sykora passed it to Stoll in front. He outwaited Budaj before backhanding it in.

With 1:38 to play in the game, Smyth absolutely clocked Brad Richardson with a clean open-ice hit at the Avalanche blueline. Richardson had to be helped off the ice.

NOTES: Lupul's goal was the 100th point in his career... Smyth's goal was his 250th career marker... Arnason hit the three-point mark for the second time this season, tying a career high... The seven goals against was the most allowed by the Oilers since a 7-1 loss on October 21, 2005 also at Rexall Place versus the Avalanche... Sykora's assist was the 300th in his career and Pouliot's helper was the first in his NHL career.
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