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Avalanche take the Oilers in the Shoot Out

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Starting off 2015 on a W.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The first five minutes of the game yielded a couple of scoring chances, a few good defensive plays, and a nice save or two, both teams taking their share. The Avalanche got a power play at 5:43 in the first, yet it was fairly uneventful with only one shot making it on net.

While the PP didn't yield a goal, it gave the Avs some oomph, limiting the Oilers to only a couple of shots on net over the next 10 minutes. With just over four minutes left in the first period, Cody McLeod and former Av Matt Hendricks dropped the gloves. Also uneventful and totally inconsequential.

Edmonton generated some offense and forced Semyon Varlamov to make an athletic save. Colorado took the play the other direction and some mayhem in front of the net led to both John Mitchell and Anton Lander of the Oilers going to the box for goaltender interference and cross checking, respectively. The period ended with no goals and one minute of four-on-four to spill over to the second period.

Shortly after the second began, Taylor Hall slashed Gabriel Landeskog's stick out of the captain's hands, so the Avlanache had a 23-second four-on-three advantage. However, neither that nor the remaining five-on-four power play resulted in goals.

The Avs finally got on the board thanks to some hard work. Matt Duchene fought to maintain control behind the net and dished a nice little backhanded pass through the crease to Daniel Briere for #48's seventh goal of the season.

With 5:30 left in the period, Landeskog and Edmonton's Matt Fraser both sat two minutes for roughing. Again, nothing really came of it.

The Oilers got their first poer play of the evening with Nathan MacKinnon feeling shame for hooking. The man-advantage finished out the period, yet the score remained 1-0 Avalanche.

Just over two minutes into the third period, Edmonton got a second power play opportunity with Briere penalized for tripping. Two seconds were left in that penalty kill when Alex Tanguay was called for tripping as well. This time, however, the man advantage paid off with Benoit Pouliot capitalizing on a fluky bounce, knotting up the game at one with 15 minutes left in the third.

The goal completely energized the Oilers, and Varlamov was forced to make a desperate snow angel save to keep the score even. The teams traded opportunities for the remainder of the third period, sending the game into overtime.

Just like the start of the game, the teams swapped chances and saves with neither team sealing the deal on the win. Thus, the game was to be decided by a shoot out.

Duchene cruised in slowly and got Ben Scrivens to bite on his left, leaving a wide-open net for the goal. Tanguay followed that up with a goal of his own, relying on his characteristic patience to force Scrivens to over commit. With Varlamov's two saves on the Oilers, the Avalanche skated away with the win. Final score: 2-1

MHH Three Stars

1. Semyon Varlamov
2. Alex Tanguay
3. Matt Duchene