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Under the Scope: Oilers vs. Avalanche

by Ryan Frankson / Edmonton Oilers

Jordan Eberle led the way with two goals and one assist as the Oilers battled back from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits to defeat the Colorado Avalanche with an impressive 6-4 comeback decision on Saturday night at Rexall Place. Magnus Paajarvi tallied the game-winning goal for the second time in a one-week span, putting the Oilers up 5-4 with 1:34 left in regulation. Taylor Hall also had three points with a trio of assists, while four other Oilers posted multi-point games.  

Take a closer look at the game as we go Under The Scope:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' goal with 4:01 to go in the middle frame not only got the proverbial monkey off the sophomore centre's back with first tally of the season; the one-timer from the slot on a pass from Taylor Hall also started the Oilers explosion of five unanswered goals en route to the victory.

69 Seconds separating three goals at the end of the first period. Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn scored for Colorado at 18:47 and 19:11, respectively, before Ales Hemsky scored for the Oilers at 19:56. 
23 Oilers shots in the opening 20 minutes, including out-shooting the Avalanche 15-4 in the final 12 minutes. The team record for shots in one period is 24, achieved in 1986 (vs. MIN) and 1997 (vs. COL).
4 Blocked shots by Ryan Whitney to lead the team. Ladislav Smid had three, as the duo accounted for seven of the team's nine blocks.
19 Combined shots on goal for Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Hall led the team with eight.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
1 1 2 +1 0

Ales Hemsky
2 0 2 +1 0

Jordan Eberle
2 1 3 0 0

Semyon Varlamov
55 50 5 59:06 .909

Nikolai Khabibulin
17 16 1 40:00 .941

Tyson Barrie - D

22:33 - 2 PTS, E rating

Jeff Petry - D

22:21 - 0 PTS, E rating

Ales Hemsky scored a pair of goals for the Oilers on Saturday, but his second of the game was a masterful display of skill. The veteran winger deked his way past both Avs defenders before manoeuvring around goalie Semyon Varlamov and tucking home the team's third goal of the night to make it 4-3. The highlight-reel tally came just 59 seconds after RNH's goal.

Ales Hemsky kept the Oilers in the game early, scoring two of their first three goals, including his highlight-reel tally to cut Colorado's lead to 4-3 late in the middle frame. Hemsky now leads in the Oilers in goals with seven through 14 games. He only needs three more to tie his total of 10 in 69 games last year.

Eric Belanger chipped in with an assist and had a +1 rating, in addition to logging 16:29 of ice time, including 3:29 on the penalty kill, good enough for second most on the team. The centre also had four shots on goal, one hit, and won the most faceoffs on the team with nine (50% success rate).

The Oilers fired 56 pucks on the Avalanche net on Saturday, breaking a 27-year-old franchise record for shots on goal in a single game. Edmonton had 55 shots on goal against the Minnesota North Stars on March 21, 1986. 

"This was a great reaction. It needed to come. We knew how important this game was. We needed this win."

- Oilers Head Coach Ralph Krueger on the comeback victory

Tuesday, February 19 vs. Los Angeles 
8:00pm MST
(TSN / 630 CHED)

The Oilers are now two games through a five-game homestand with three more left to play this coming week at Rexall Place. The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings arrive Tuesday for an 8:00pm game (TSN, 630 CHED) and the Northwest Divisional rival Minnesota Wild visit Edmonton on Thursday at 7:30pm (Sportsnet West, 630 CHED).

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