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Game 21: Avalanche 3, Oilers 2

photo courtesy of John Ulan/AP

It took a lucky deflection and a favorable video review, but the Avalanche finally won on the road last night, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2.  

The game-winning goal was scored when Wojtek Wolski made a quick pass toward Paul Stastny, but the puck was deflected by an Oilers player in front of the crease to the left skate of Marek Svatos, who kicked it toward the goal and just barely managed to touch it with his stick before it crossed the line.  Upon video review, the goal was upheld.

Overall, Colorado played well, holding the Oilers to just sixteen shots on goal while taking 31 themselves.  Peter Budaj, despite a save percentage of just .875, made some huge saves in the third period (including a painful-looking full splits move) to ensure the win for his team.  

Avalanche d-men played a big role in the win, with Karlis Skrastins scoring first with a big slap shot from the point that made it past Edmonton goalie Mathieu Garon, and John-Michael Liles' shot in the second was deflected by Milan Hejduk into the net to move the Avs up 2-1.  Liles had a very good game after being a healthy scratch two days before in Calgary.

Not so good was the Avalanche power play, held completely scoreless during the entire four-game road trip.  Against the Oilers last night, the Avs went 0-8 with the man advantage.  The team PP success rate has now dropped to 13.7%, lousy enough for 27th place in the league, just above Anaheim, Nashville and Edmonton.  

The next game for Colorado is against the Calgary Flame-Outs on Saturday at the Pepsi Center (thank god).  Hopefully the Avalanche dominance in Denver will continue.

Stars of the Game:

  1. Ales Hemsky (1g, 1a)
  1. Shawn Horcoff (1g, 1a)
  1. Mathieu Garon (28sv, .908)