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Game 15: Avalanche 4, Oilers 3 (SO)

photo courtesy of David Zalubowski/AP

I'll keep this brief because I'm short on time this morning.

The Colorado Avalanche is making a habit out of winning games the team really shouldn't.  Considering how horrible the Avs' defense was throughout the first period (and at various other times in the game), and how few scoring chances were being generated on their top offensive lines, the Edmonton Oilers should have won the game.  But, consistent with their efforts most of the season, Colorado came back from a one-goal deficit to drag the match into overtime and ultimately win in a shootout.

Peter Budaj gave up three early goals, but redeemed himself throughout the rest of the game, stopping 30 shots and preventing all but one score by Edmonton in the shootout.  Ian Laperriere had a huge night, with two goals and an assist.  Though Lappy played on a line with Ben Guite early in the first period, Coach Q switched things up and the new combination of Lappy, Tyler "Oiler Killer" Arnason and Andrew Brunette was stellar.  The three combined for six points (goals by Arny and Lappy, with Bruno assisting on both).  

Ben Guite continues to play well, possibly to impress his father, who has been in Denver throughout the recent Avalanche homestand.  He had an assist on Lappy's first goal.

The Avs move to 10-5, just the third team in the entire NHL to win that many games (behind the juggernauts of Ottawa and Detroit).  Colorado also takes first place in the Northwest away from Minnesota, despite being tied in points with 20.  More wins = higher rank.  Finally, the Avs are now 8-1-0, tied with Ottawa for the best home record in the league.

The next game is Friday on the road against Vancouver, who beat the Avalanche in their last meeting.  

Stars of the Game:

  1. Ian Laperriere (2g, 1a)
  1. Tyler Arnason (1g, 1a)
  1. Ales Hemsky (1g, 0a)