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Game 73 recap: Avs rally, fall in Edmonton 4-3

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After completing a comeback from three goals down, the Avalanche yield the decisive goal on the power play with 9:18 left.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With just 10 games to play, the Avs continue their chance for a Top 10 pick as they visit the Edmonton Oilers, the 76ers of the NHL. This should be a wide open affair with the quality of defense on hand; let’s hope it is. Seymon Varlamov and Ben Scrivens are the goalies tonight.

First period

After a blah opening few minutes, it’s the Avs that get the first territorial advantage. That lasts for about 30 seconds, and the Oilers take a 1-0 lead. Martin Marincin gets into the yummy area, takes a nice pass from Andrew Miller and gets one over Varly for the goal. Um OK cool. Pretty sure that was the first shot of the game for the hosts.

Less than two minutes later, it’s 2-0 Edmonton. Sort of an unfortunate bounce off a rebound, but Jordan Eberle cashes in and finishes the puck into the empty net. So it’s going to be one of those nights is it?

Varly must taking in the scenery of Lake Louise all day, because he’s not in this game. Taylor Hall beats him with a laser to make it 3-0 with 10:24 left in the first period. HERE COMES THE BERRA TRAIN.

Mitchell almost connects with for a tap-in goal, but no.

The Avs are awarded a power play as Marincin giveth and taketh away. The Edmonton PK is a bit of a cluster but the Avs can’t get the right bounce and the penalty is killed.

Ryan O’Reilly then makes an incredible move through the neutral zone and around the Edmonton defense, but is stoned by Scrivens. Wow that was pretty. And wow you can tell why the Oilers give up 3.4 goals per game.

Aside: I really wonder how O’Reilly’s play down the stretch will affect the team’s thoughts about him long term. He’s really elevated his play, making an offseason trade of even more tricky.

Stuff happens but no more goals. 3-0 Oilers after first period. Shots are 14-8 Avalanche.

Second period

Nail Yakupov takes a shot to the foot off the devastating stick of Nate Guenin, sending him to the bench.

Another penalty drawn by the hosts as Hishon is hacked down in front. Barrie hits the post during the man advantage, and draws another penalty, giving the Avs more than a minute of 5-on-3 time.

The Avs can’t score on the 5-on-3, but soon after Jarome Iginla fires a rocket into the back of the net on the power play. Does anyone besides Iggy or Tanguay score goals for this team? Incredible season rolls on for the living legend.

Berra makes a really nice glove save on a shot from Klefbom. Gotta give him credit when he does something well.

The Advertising board is working. Would love some Pizza 73 and Dairy Queen right about now.

An absolutely brutal turnover almost leads to a goal for Edmonton, but Gazdic blows the chance. Still 3-1 halfway through the period.

Right out the TV timeout, the Avs get another goal! The other player on the team that scores goals, Tanguay, finishes off a rebound on a shot from O’Reilly that was saved. 3-2 to the Oilers now with 8 minutes left in the second period.

Hard to imagine the Avs not going on and winning this thing now, shots are 26-16 Avs and they’ve wrestled control of this one.

The definition of heavy pressure as Barrie anchors the whole damn thing and hits the iron again. Crazy sequence as the Oilers look just as dangerous on the counter attack.

Jon Mitchell and Derek Roy get it on late in the period.

3-2 Edmonton leads after two periods. Shots are 33-21 Avalanche, who have the comeback in sight. Whether or not that’s a good thing is another story.

Third period

About 3:30 into the period Duchene does his thing of carrying the puck into the zone getting close to the net and not finishing.

Pretty quiet opening to the period, before all of a sudden O’Reilly ties the game at 3-3 with 15:06 left. Unbelievable play by Tanguay to set it up. That is all.

Mitchell takes a slashing penalty, giving the Oilers a chance to get the lead back about halfway through the final period. Nick Holden makes an incredible block in front of the net with Berra out of position.

It’s all for naught as Edmonton scores off the ensuing faceoff. Berra loses track of the puck during a scramble, and Roy is at the right place at the right time for a goal. Berra really should have been able to hand onto that one though. 4-3 Oilers with 9:18 left.

Marincin takes another minor penalty with 7:04 left in the game, sending the Avs to the power play. A little surprised the Berra wasn’t pulled by Riverboat Roy. The power play was mostly dreadful until the final 20 seconds, no goal and we have five minutes left to play.

Without about four minutes left, Tanguay makes a defense-snapping pass to O’Reilly, but he can’t score. Mitchell gets a chance also from a good area that Scrivens stops. Berra is pulled with less than 1:30 left and Edmonton takes a delay of game penalty with 51 seconds left. The Oilers kill it off though (despite a dangerous look from Barrie and Tanguay late), and claim the 4-3 win. Shots finished

Three stars

Third star: Tyson Barrie (Dangerous as all hell)

Second star: Alex Tanguay (All he does is score)

First star: Ryan O’Reilly (Best player on the ice again)

Thoughts

Well it looked like a wild game on paper and that’s what it turned out to be. Crazy action on both ends for most of the game. I thought the third period wasn’t as strong as the second. The fourth goal for Edmonton really settled it down. 77 combined shots sounds about right. Next up for the Avs is the final game of the trip, tomorrow in Vancouver.