for this game

Pouliot's goal helps Oilers pull closer to Avalanche

Mar 22, 2008 - 11:33 PM
EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) -- A third-period collapse left the Edmonton Oilers reeling in a game they could not afford to lose. Then, they received a boost from an unlikely hero.

Marc Pouliot scored his first goal of the season 4:34 into the third as the Oilers pulled closer in the Western Conference playoff race with a critical 7-5 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

The Oilers (38-33-5) continued their late-season surge, winning for the 11th time in 14 games to pull within three points of the Avalanche (39-31-6) in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Both teams have six games remaining. They meet for the final time on Friday at Colorado, which has dropped four straight.

"I'm down to my last nerve," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose team squandered a 4-1 lead. "I've been around the game for a number of years, and you know these kind of things can and do happen at times."

Facing a virtual must-win, the Oilers came out flying and built a 3-0 lead in the first period. Dustin Penner, rookie Sam Gagner and Fernando Pisani scored on goaltender Jose Theodore, who was pulled with 5:31 left in the period after facing just eight shots.

But the Avalanche blitzed the Oilers early in the third period, as defenseman Ruslan Salei, Wojtek Wolski and Milan Hejduk scored in a 2:33 span the tie the contest at 4-4.

"It was a pretty fast-paced game, lots of chances both ways," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "The pucks were going in, and we certainly would have liked to grab something out of this one."

After Hejduk's tying goal, MacTavish called timeout in an attempt to slow Colorado's momentum. It might have saved the Oilers' season.

Just 18 seconds later, Pouliot found himself in the right place at the right time, getting free in front and jamming a loose puck past backup netminder Peter Budaj.

"I just threw the puck at the net and (Marty) Reasoner and Pisani almost scored," said Pouliot, who was playing in only his 18th game of the season after being recalled from Springfield of the American Hockey League on March 3. "I went the other way and just cleaned up their garbage."

There was little defense played in the third period as the teams combined for seven goals.

"The one thing I suspected is that they were having as much trouble defending as we were," MacTavish said. "I thought we would get another opportunity, and sure enough, we did."

Gagner netted his second goal of the game with 9:12 remaining to give Edmonton a 6-4 lead, but the Oilers had to sweat out the final minutes. The Avalanche closed within one with 2:42 remaining, when blue-liner John-Michael Liles' bad-angle shot deflected in off the stick of Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert.

The Oilers finally put away the wild contest with 10 seconds left, when Reasoner was awarded a goal after being hooked from behind while skating toward an empty net.

Edmonton is used to wild finishes, as it has played in 18 shootouts this season, winning 15.

"That's nothing for us," Reasoner said of the third-period fireworks. "We do this all the time. Usually, we would give them one late and then win it in the shootout just for fun."

"It was definitely a wake-up call after they'd tied the game," added Oilers center Kyle Brodziak, who tallied midway through the second to give Edmonton a 4-1 lead. "But our guys did a great job of going out on the next shift and getting that huge goal for us."

Dwayne Roloson recorded 29 saves for the Oilers, while Budaj stopped 17 shots for the Avalanche in relief of Theodore.

Colorado captain Joe Sakic recorded his 1,000 career point with an assist on Tyler Arnason's power-play goal 4:58 into the second.

Peter Forsberg missed his second straight game and sixth in the last seven with a groin injury but right wing Ian Laperriere said there was no excuse for the Avalanche's lack of defense in the first period.

"It's unacceptable to be down by that many goals to start a game, especially at this time of year," he said.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 1 4 5
    EDMONTON 3 1 3 7 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - DUSTIN PENNER 21 (ALES HEMSKY, JONI PITKANEN) 0:49
    EDM - SAM GAGNER 11 (ALES HEMSKY, DENIS GREBESHKOV) 11:30
    EDM - FERNANDO PISANI 12 (MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT, MARTY
    REASONER) 14:49
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) TYLER ARNAS

    Mar 22 5:36 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    EDMONTON 7
    3RD PRD: EDM - (EN) MARTY REASONER 10 (UNASSISTED) 19:50

    Avalanche 5, Oilers 7  3rd - 0:10Mar 22 5:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 20 roots

    Avalanche 5, Oilers 7  3rd - 0:10Mar 22 5:36 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Avalanche 5, Oilers 6  3rd - 0:15Mar 22 5:34 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 5
    EDMONTON 6
    3RD PRD: COL - JOHN-MICHAEL LILES 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:18

    Avalanche 5, Oilers 6  3rd - 2:42Mar 22 5:32 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    EDMONTON 6
    3RD PRD: EDM - SAM GAGNER 12 (ALES HEMSKY, DUSTIN PENNER) 10:48

    Avalanche 4, Oilers 6  3rd - 9:12Mar 22 5:18 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 4
    EDMONTON 5
    3RD PRD: EDM - MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT 1 (MARTY REASONER, FERNANDO
    PISANI) 4:34

    Avalanche 4, Oilers 5  3rd - 15:26Mar 22 5:08 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 2
    EDMONTON 4
    3RD PRD: COL - RUSLAN SALEI 5 (UNASSISTED) 1:43

    Avalanche 2, Oilers 4  3rd - 18:17Mar 22 4:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 1 1
    EDMONTON 3 1 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - DUSTIN PENNER 21 (ALES HEMSKY, JONI PITKANEN) 0:49
    EDM - SAM GAGNER 11 (ALES HEMSKY, DENIS GREBESHKOV) 11:30
    EDM - FERNANDO PISANI 12 (MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT, MARTY
    REASONER) 14:49
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP

    Mar 22 4:42 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    EDMONTON 4
    2ND PRD: EDM - KYLE BRODZIAK 13 (JONI PITKANEN) 9:14

    Avalanche 1, Oilers 4  2nd - 10:46Mar 22 4:20 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 1
    EDMONTON 3
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) TYLER ARNASON 10 (DAVID JONES, JOE SAKIC) 4:58

    Avalanche 1, Oilers 3  2nd - 15:02Mar 22 4:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0
    EDMONTON 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: EDM - DUSTIN PENNER 21 (ALES HEMSKY) 0:49
    EDM - SAM GAGNER 11 (ALES HEMSKY) 11:30
    EDM - FERNANDO PISANI 12 (MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT, MARTY
    REASONER) 14:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Mar 22 3:47 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    EDMONTON 3
    1ST PRD: EDM - FERNANDO PISANI 12 (MARC-ANTOINE POULIOT, MARTY
    REASONER) 14:49

    Avalanche 0, Oilers 3  1st - 5:11Mar 22 3:36 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    EDMONTON 2
    1ST PRD: EDM - SAM GAGNER 11 (ALES HEMSKY) 11:30

    Avalanche 0, Oilers 2  1st - 8:30Mar 22 3:30 PM
  • jonyboy26 GO AVS

    Avalanche 0, Oilers 1  1st - 18:58Mar 22 3:16 PM
  • 5
    roots
    jonyboy26 Added 5 roots

    Avalanche 0, Oilers 1  1st - 18:58Mar 22 3:16 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    EDMONTON 1
    1ST PRD: EDM - DUSTIN PENNER 21 (ALES HEMSKY) 0:49

    Avalanche 0, Oilers 1  1st - 19:11Mar 22 3:12 PM