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GAME CHANGER: Oilers five-goal flurry

Down 4-2 heading into the third period in Denver against the Avs, the Oilers changed the outcome of the game with a five-goal final frame

by Paul Gazzola /

The players were the first to admit it wasn't their best effort, despite a 7-4 win against the Colorado Avalanche in March.

Down 2-0 at the midway mark of the first period, then 4-2 after 40 minutes of play, the Oilers scored five unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes remaining to change the complexion of the game and in the end, the outcome.

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Oilers energizer Zack Kassian got the snowball rolling with his seventh goal of the season just 2:44 into the third period by tucking home an idle puck sitting in the blue paint.

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

Next, Jordan Eberle got into the mix with a top-shelf wrist shot no more than two minutes later to even the game at 4-4. 

It wasn't until late in the period when the Oilers would continue the flurry.

With just over two minutes left, forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula gave the Oilers the go-ahead goal to make it three unanswered. Nugent-Hopkins gained entry into the offensive zone, kicking the puck to Draisaitl along the boards. Draisaitl threaded the needle to Caggiula streaking through the slot, eventually sweeping the puck backhand on a sprawled Jeremy Smith to score his fifth of the season.

"That was perfect," Caggiula said of Draisaitl's pass. "It was right on the tape with a lot of speed coming through the middle."

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

Edmonton would go on to add two empty-netters from Eberle and Draisaitl, running the score up to seven for the third time in the month.

"Tonight definitely wasn't our best effort as a team, but we found a way to win," said Kassian. "We've got to be happy with the way we responded in the third… We just knew this was a game we had to win."

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan said there were no motivational words of wisdom discussed within the dressing room during the second intermission to spur the offence.

"We talked about having a formula for coming back," said McLellan post-game. "There are certain things we felt we needed to do and need to do when we're trailing, especially going into the third.

"We just reviewed that and went out and played."

The team's internal review at intermission helped the Oilers facilitate the comeback with their five-goal outburst and was the game-changer they needed to win.

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