LOCAL SPORTS

 

Avs Drop Oilers, 4-2

Avs Drop Oilers, 4-2

Posted by Mike Rice

DENVER (AP) -- Maxime Talbot broke a second-period tie with a short-handed goal, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Tyson Barrie, Ryan O'Reilly and Matt Duchene also scored for the Avalanche, who bounced back from an 8-2 loss to the Oilers two weeks ago in Edmonton.

Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had goals for the Oilers, who finished their road swing 0-4 and were outscored 14-4. They also were without Sam Gagner after he was ejected in the first period when he knocked down Paul Stastny with a stick to the face.

Edmonton pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk for an extra skater with 1:53 remaining, but couldn't score. Duchene added an empty-net goal with 1.1 seconds remaining. He also had two assists.

Talbot scored the winner with 1:32 remaining in the second period with the Oilers on the power play. Edmonton turned over the puck, Marc-Andre Cliche carried it up the ice, and then fed it to Talbot, who slid a backhanded shot past Dubnyk.

Varlamov made it hold up throughout the third period.

Varlamov vanquished some demons against Edmonton after being rocked for eight goals on Dec. 5 at Rexall Place. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy defended his goalie's performance in that game, saying, "he didn't give up bad goals. They were great shots. If you give them time and space, they'll take advantage of it."

Edmonton took a 2-1 lead at 12:10 of the second period when Nugent-Hopkins sent a wrist shot past Varlamov. It didn't last long as O'Reilly tied it by tapping in a pass from rookie Nathan MacKinnon.

Matt Duchene also had an assist on the play, his second of the night. He has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games.

Asked before the game about his recent scoring spree, Duchene shrugged and said, "I just got back to doing what I was doing before I got hurt."

Duchene missed a few games with an oblique injury in late November and then had a virus that zapped his strength. He finally feels back at full strength, he said.

Colorado had a 5-on-3 power play to start the second period, courtesy of Gagner's crosscheck and a unsportsmanlike penalty against Hall.

Barrie lined a shot past Dubnyk, who appeared to be screened.

Gagner and Stastny were battling after a faceoff when Gagner used both hands to shove his stick into Stastny's face. Stastny stayed down on the ice for a moment before heading over to the bench, where the trainers appeared to examine his nose. Gagner was assessed a major penalty and sent to the locker room.

Hall drew an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the period.

The Avalanche outshot Edmonton 17-5 in the first period, but it was the Oilers who scored the lone goal when Hall broke free and lined a shot under Varlamov's glove. It was Hall's 13th goal of the season.

Dubnyk stopped everything thrown at him early, including five shots from defenseman Jan Hejda.

Game Notes

Oilers D Corey Potter finished his two-game suspension for boarding Anaheim F Nick Bonino over the weekend. He is eligible to play Saturday against St. Louis. ... Hall and Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist. ... Roy said D Ryan Wilson (back) could return to the lineup on Saturday in Los Angeles.

 

More Articles