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RECAP: Avalanche 3, Oilers 2

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

EDMONTON, AB – Tyson Barrie scored twice and added an assist as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Oilers 3-2 at Rexall Place.

“We made some mistakes again that are very preventable,” said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. “I think of Barrie’s goal and we’re in position. That’s an easy sort-out that we have. There’s two guys that are prepared to do the job, we just don’t communicate so nobody does the job.”

Barrie put the Avalanche up 2-1 as he was left alone in front of goaltender Cam Talbot and scored his ninth of the season, at 1:23 of the second. Jarome Iginla and Matt Duchene had the helpers. He’d score again in the third period, left alone in front of the Oilers net.

Edmonton would battle back to make it a 3-2 game late, but couldn’t tie things up.

The Oilers also thought they may have scored in the third to make it a 3-2 game earlier than they did, however, Taylor Hall was pushed into the goaltender. After review, the no-goal call was upheld. The Oilers also had a penalty on that goal, which made that sequence more confusing.

“48 hours ago (against Minnesota) a goal was allowed against us because apparently we pushed somebody into the crease,” said McLellan. “First of all, we were allowed a review call and I don’t know why we were allowed it because if there’s a penalty and we touched the puck it’s a dead play, it’s not a goal anyhow. But I was allowed the review, so it made sense that they were going to go over and look at it and if they review it they would clearly see that Taylor is pushed into the goaltender.

“When I looked at it on the bench and now when I looked at it after, I could read ‘Sher-Wood’ or whatever stick MacKinnon uses right in Taylor’s ribs, pushing him into the goaltender. Now, maybe they didn’t have that version. I don’t know. I don’t know what they get over there on that little iPad, but the one that I had, we could have had our meeting at the bench and it would have been a lot clearer.”

Oilers winger Zack Kassian, in his return from battling the flu, fought Cody McLeod 2:46 into the game. The two exchanged several punches, drawing a round of loud cheers from the Rexall Place crowd when all was done.

The Oilers took the 1-0 lead at 7:14 of the first when Taylor Hall cleaned up a rebound for his 20th of the season. Teddy Purcell had the initial shot on net, followed up by Leon Draisaitl who saw his attempt kicked out wide. A waiting Hall promptly deposited the puck in the back of the net.

John Mitchell responded for Colorado at 11:19 of the opening frame. Mitchell was assisted by Blake Comeau and Tyson Barrie.

Following Barrie’s first of the night, the Oilers had a 2-on-1 rush foiled by goaltender Calvin Pickard, but they drew a penalty to take the first man advantage of the night. Duchene headed to the box for high-sticking. Unfortunately for the home team, they couldn’t capitalize.

On their second power play of the game, Purcell rocketed a shot from the slot but couldn’t bury. Including tonight, the Oilers have went three for their last 26 power plays.

The Oilers then got into penalty trouble, giving Colorado a long 5-on-3 late in the second. Edmonton was able to kill off that power play and escape the second down by one.

At 3:49 of the third, Barrie stepped up and got his long-range shot through traffic and past Talbot to make it a 3-1 game. Alex Tanguay and Gabriel Landeskog recorded assists.

With the Oilers pressing with two minutes remaining in the game, Pickard covered the puck following a long shift in the offensive zone for Edmonton. Off the next draw, Brandon Davidson held the puck in the zone and Jordan Eberle set up Benoit Pouliot in front for the goal to make it 3-2 with 1:41 to go in the game.

“Just trying to keep the play alive,” said Davidson. “I thought it was a pretty close call there, I didn’t know if they were going to review it or not. I ended up keeping it in and I let those forwards kind of do the work. Kudos to Pouliot for putting that in.”

With Talbot pulled for the extra attacker, the Oilers simply ran out of time as they failed to net the equalizer, falling 3-2 to the visiting Avalanche.

“It was one of those games where I felt like it was pretty even strength and they capitalized on their opportunities and we didn’t,” said Davidson. “It’s one of those games we’ve got to have but it didn’t go our way.”

The Oilers host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT.
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