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Brule, Hemsky, Gagner lead the way in Oilers' 6-4 win over Avalanche

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

EDMONTON - Gilbert Brule, Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner each had a goal and an assist as the Edmonton Oilers came from behind to halt a four-game losing streak, defeating the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 on Wednesday night.

Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Potulny and Patrick O'Sullivan also scored for the Oilers (9-10-3), who improved to 7-3-1 at Rexall Place in the opener of a season-high five-game homestand.

Milan Hejduk had a pair and David Jones and Kyle Cumiskey also replied for the Avs (13-6-3), who have lost four of their last five after a hot start to the season.

Trailing 4-3 after the second, Edmonton rallied to tie the game less than three minutes into the third as Potulny scored a power-play goal off of a big rebound to make it 4-4.

The Oilers took their first lead of the night with eight minutes to play in the third as Brule stole a puck behind the net and tried a wraparound. The rebound slid to O'Sullivan, who put the puck between the legs of Avs goalie Peter Budaj.

Hemsky added an empty-netter.

The Avalanche struck first nearly nine minutes into the opening period. Hejduk brushed aside Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert at the side of the net and spun around to slide the puck under Edmonton starter Jeff Deslauriers with the teams playing four aside.

The Oilers tied it up with three minutes left in the first, as Hemsky's shot trickled through the pads of Budaj and Horcoff poked it in behind him.

Colorado regained the lead less than two minutes later as Hejduk scored his second of the game and 10th of the season, banking a puck in of the skates of O'Sullivan to make it 2-1 after 20 minutes. Chris Durno picked up his first NHL point with an assist on the play.

Edmonton evened things up again just 21 seconds into the middle period, as Brule's slapshot from the top of the circle handcuffed Budaj. Again, the Avalanche responded, this time on a power play less than a minute later as Jones lifted a wrist-shot over Deslauriers' shoulder for a 3-2 lead.

Just one minute after Hemsky missed a wide-open net, the Avs extended their lead to two goals as Cumiskey froze Deslauriers and picked the top corner with a great shot.

Edmonton survived a pair of Colorado two-man advantages to stay in the game, and were rewarded with just 16 seconds to go in the second period. A big rebound off a Lubomir Visnovsky shot came out the other side to Gagner, who whacked the puck into the empty net to make it 4-3 Avs.

It was the first game this season that Edmonton had won after out-shooting an opponent, finishing with a 33-18 advantage.

The Avs close out their three-game road trip in Vancouver on Friday while the Oilers next play host to Chicago on Saturday.

Notes: The Oilers lead the league in man-games lost to injuries, now at 121. For all of last season they were at 225. ... One injured player returned to the lineup as Gagner came back from missing one match with a hip injury. ... Mike Comrie came out of the lineup, however, still fighting an on-and-off battle with the flu. ... Oilers captain Ethan Moreau left the game in the second period and didn't return. ... Avalanche defenceman John-Michael Liles (shoulder) and forward T.J. Galiardi (ankle) made the road trip but were still unable to play on Wednesday. ... Colorado entered the game in last in the league in faceoffs won. Edmonton is second worst.


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