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GAME STORY: Oilers 4, Avalanche 1

Laurent Brossoit stopped 24 shots, while four different Oilers scored as Edmonton buried the Avalanche 4-1

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

EDMONTON, AB - Laurent Brossoit stopped 24 shots to earn his third career National Hockey League victory, Leon Draisaitl scored his team-leading 27th goal and Connor McDavid filed his 88th point of the season as the Oilers buried the Avalanche for the second time in three nights.

It was win number 41 for the Oilers on the season, who move into a three-way tie for first in the Pacific Division with the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

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"We're right in the fight right now," said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who had two points on the night. "To win the division is our goal and we're going to keep striving for that." 

Benoit Pouliot, Draisaitl, Drake Caggiula and Nugent-Hopkins were the goal scorers and the Oilers went 2-for-4 on the power play to hand Colorado their 51st loss of the season.

The Oilers got the start they wanted when Matt Benning's slap shot was tipped by Pouliot at 1:54 of the opening frame. It was Pouliot's eighth goal of the year and 14th point. The assists went to Benning and Zack Kassian, who now have 14 and 23 points, respectively.

"Right from the get-go, we felt better," said Caggiula. "I thought we had a much better start today and didn't take our foot off the gas."

Sven Andrighetto tied the game up shortly after, bypassing Adam Larsson then splitting Brossoit's wickets to score his fifth goal of the season and even things up at 1-1.

Less than three minutes into the match, two goals were scored on three shots.

With only one shot on goal of their own through six minutes, the Oilers top line got to work. Draisaitl, McDavid and Patrick Maroon began orchestrating some offence, cycling the puck along the half wall. Draisaitl was feathered a pass from McDavid while making his way to the Avalanche net. In doing so, he was slashed by Fedor Tyutin. Tyutin would go to the box at 6:21.

Video: Condensed Game: Avalanche @ Oilers

On the power play, Maroon was cross-checked in the ribs by Francois Beauchemin, bringing him down and forcing him to go to the Oilers Dressing Room. He later returned to finish the game.

The Oilers nearly converted on that power play with Oscar Klefbom and McDavid facilitating a tic-tac-toe passing play, which Milan Lucic could not finish.

With Caggiula filling in for Maroon's absence, the Oil regained the lead. At the offensive blue line, McDavid slipped a pass to Caggiula, who then went cross-ice to Draisaitl.

The Deutschland Dangler - who has 14 points in his past seven games - maintained his torrid scoring pace, ripping a one-timer past Calvin Pickard at 10:47. It was Draisaitl's 27th goal and 70th point, marking the first time in 11 years that the Oilers have had two 70-point scorers. McDavid registered his 62nd assist and 88th point on the play.

Kassian looked to exact some revenge for Beauchemin's cross-check on Maroon later in the period. He tussled with the Avalanche defender and both players received roughing minors.

In the dying seconds of the first, a flurry of chances ensued in front of the Oilers net. Brossoit came up big, though, stopping a bevy of shots including one from the top of the key by Mikko Rantanen. Lucic would take a tripping call amid the frenzy, giving the Avalanche and their League-worst 12.6 percent conversion rate a power play to start the second period.

"I thought I let up a couple rebounds but once I got a couple saves under my belt I felt good throughout," said the Oilers backup netminder.

At the end of the first period, it was 2-1 Oilers.

The Oil had only three shots on net in the middle frame until McDavid, Maroon and Draisaitl encroached on a 3-on-2. Through some solid puck sharing, Maroon got a shot off from the side of the Avs' net but Pickard turned aside the opportunity.

The Oilers maintained their 2-1 lead after 40 minutes and led in the shot department 19-18.

In the final 20 minutes of play, Edmonton looked to close the game out.

After McDavid was tripped following a faceoff in the offensive zone, the Oilers got their third crack at the man advantage.

Caggiula would provide the Oilers with an insurance marker on that power play. Off a Nugent-Hopkins shot-pass, the Oilers rookie made a nifty deflection to put the puck past Pickard. It was his sixth of the campaign and second in his past two games. Nugent-Hopkins and Andrej Sekera had the helpers.

"The last little while I've been getting some opportunities and now things are starting to click," said Caggiula. "Hopefully I can keep it going."

Shortly after the goal, Benning took a shot off the inside of his skate. He stayed on the ice for a few minutes before getting back up. He headed to the dressing room and did not return to the match.

"I don't want to jump the gun here but he looked pretty darn good," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "He was walking around back in there (in the dressing room), he's got a welt but it doesn't look like there's anything broken so that's a real good sign for us."

Brossoit got the crowd to their feet late in the third period, making a leg-splitting save on Blake Comeau to keep the Avs to a lone goal.

Nugent-Hopkins later added another power-play goal after Rene Bourque was called for cross-checking following Brossoit's big save. Sekera's slap shot bounced off the boards and fortuitously found Nugent-Hopkins, who snapped it home for his 16th of the season.

Edmonton will host the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday at Rogers Place in a big Pacific Division showdown.

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