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Sykora, Smyth lead Oilers to win

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers
Dwayne Roloson made the biggest save early on, stopping an Ian Laperriere backhand attempt.

Colorado continued to get early pressure but the Oilers defenders did a good job keeping the Avalanche attackers to the perimeter. On one particular play, Jason Smith swooped in to deny Paul Stastny of a scoring attempt at the top of the Edmonton crease.

Colorado scored the game's first goal after Ken Klee took a pass from Stastny in the corner Klee then fed it to Wojtek Wolski in the slot who picked up the puck and fired it five-hole past Roloson.

39 seconds later, the Oilers tied it up. Daniel Tjarnqvist took a pass from Ales Hemsky at the left point before firing a rolling puck that beat Jose Theodore after Sykora got a piece of it in front.

The Oilers weathered a late Avalanche storm to get out of the first period tied 1-1.

After 20 minutes, Colorado was up 12-5 in shots.

During an Avalanche power play early in the second, Roloson made a nice stop off Arnason on a shot from the left circle and then corralled a Laperriere rebound. On the next shift, just as the penalty was expiring the Oilers netminder snagged a Karlis Skrastins shot out of mid-air.

Midway through the period, Colorado continued to put pressure on Edmonton's defence as they pinned the Oilers deep in their zone for a good minute.

The Oilers were finally able to get the puck out of their zone but on the next shift, Tyler Arnason generated a goal off the rush to make it 2-1 Colorado. Arnason carried the puck into Edmonton's zone before cutting in front and wristing it over the shoulder of Roloson from the left slot.

During an Oilers power play in the latter half of the period, Edmonton tried to get something going by putting five forwards on the ice but the Avalanche defended the penalty very well.

Several minutes later, Skrastins cleared the puck over the glass to put Edmonton back on the power play.

On the ensuing man advantage, the Oilers clicked to tie the game at 2-2. Lupul, Horcoff and Smyth teamed up for a nice tic-tac-toe play. Lupul threaded the puck cross-ice to Horcoff who then found Smyth stationed in front for the goal.

20 seconds into the third, Ryan Smyth struck for his second of the night and fifth in two games. Jason Smith wired a shot from the point and Smyth got a stick on it as it travelled toward the net.

Edmonton struck again before the five-minute mark of period three to double their lead. Hemsky found Sykora in the high slot and Theodore had trouble handling the shot as it trickled into the net.

Just when it looked like the Avalanche were down and out, Milan Hejduk scored his first of the season to make it a one-goal game.

Paul Stastny fired a pass from the side boards to Hejduk in the slot. The Avs winger tipped the puck right under the crossbar and it was 4-3 Avalanche.

A penalty to Marc-Andre Bergeron for slashing with 7:25 to play put Colorado on the power play with a chance to tie it.

Brunette almost tied it on the power play but Roloson slid across to deny his low shot from the top of the crease.

In the final minute, the Avalanche came close to getting the equalizer but Edmonton was able to hold the fort for the victory.
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