Row. Such a simple word.
The bad news is the Avalanche came out flat again. The good news is so did everybody else, including the fans. How quiet was that building? Two power plays for the burgundy and blue in the first, and both were totally anemic. The Oilers also had a power play, and although they actually had some sustained pressure in the Avs' zone, Edmonton came up empty-handed as well.
In the last minute, Ryan O'Reilly decided enough was enough and hustled behind the Oilers' net as Devan Dubnyk took a stroll to the right side of the net. Radar pulled in the puck and made the smart move by passing it to a wide-open Mark Olver. With the kind of poise one would expect from Olvertine - cool, calm and collected - he sent that puck right on back to Erik Johnson who slammed it home like a boss. One - nil good guys.
Period two started with a little more zip. Olver decided that an assist just wasn't good enough. On a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog, Olver gave the Avs the second of the night. Then Ben Eager was a bad, bad boy, tripping Johnson along the boards in a dangerous play. Johnson limped off but came back out for the ensuing power play. Landy didn't wait too long before netting the team's first power play goal on the night off a slick little passing play from O'Reilly and Paul Stastny.
The real Ryan O'Byrne showed up again (I knew he would!) and took two stupid penalties in a row, giving the Oilers a 4 minute power play on his double minor. The Avalanche killed both with authority, not allowing Edmonton very many looks at the net. Semyon Varlamov stood tall when they did. Of course, shortly after that, Ryan Jones put the Oilers on the board to bring them within two. Olver finished out the period for the Avalanche by demolishing Cam Barker. For 5'10" and 170 lbs, Olver sure does some damage out there.
The majority of the third period was spent icing the puck. Apparently, the Avalanche wanted to ensure the lead seconds at a time. Olver and O'Reilly displayed more of that chemistry by nearly converting on yet another goal. Alas, the puck wouldn't settle its damn self enough to bury it. Then he channeled Speedy Gonzales for another chance with O'Reilly. I think the boy likes playing in the NHL.
The Oilers pulled Dubnyk with about a minute thirty left to no avail. Avalanche win this one decisively.
MHH Best Three Avs of the Night
- 1 Mark Olver (1g, 1a, 3 hits and overall badassedness)
- 2 Ryan O'Reilly (3a, one on each of da goals)
- 3 Gabriel Landeskog (1g, 1a, 4 shots on goal; no, it's not his fifth year in the league)
- 54 - 26 - 23
- 40 - 37 - 92
- 34 - 16 - 17
- 55 - 12 - 7
- 6 - 27
- 5- 44
- 8 - 3
- 1 The Oilers are now 6-18-3 when not scoring on the power play.
- 2 Varlamov tied his single-season career high in wins at 15.
- 3 The Avalanche haven't had four power plays in one game in like 10 years.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avalanche finish their three-game tour through Canada in Winnipeg on Sunday.