Brunette scores three times to lead Avalanche past Oilers 7-6

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Brunette recorded his first NHL hat trick while Paul Stastny had a goal and three assists as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Oilers 7-6 in a game neither side seemed to take control of. Brunette, who scored all three of his goals on the power play, said the game was a little on the wild side.

"We were lucky to get a win and I'm sure they are pretty frustrated right now," he said. "It was just one of those nights when things found a way to bounce themselves into the net. Us blowing two

goal leads twice is frustrating but we got the win. It was an eight point swing against them so it was big for us."

The Avalanche led for much of the game before the Oilers rallied to tie it 6-6. But Brett McLean's wraparound goal with 8 1/2 minutes remaining proved to be the winning goal for Colorado.

"I think both teams will say that is not the type of game they wanted to play tonight," McLean said. "I think maybe they got comfortable early on and then we got comfortable

when we were up by two. Maybe that had something to do it."

Colorado (17-15-2) moved into a tie with Edmonton (17-14-2) in the Northwest Division standings.

"It was almost like first save wins," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said."You hate to waste some of the plays we made tonight," said MacTavish. "But we didn't defend like we needed to."

Oilers captain Jason Smith felt Edmonton's special teams came up short.

"When you score that many goals you want to have a better result. We didn?t execute on our power play or on the penalty kill like we needed to," Smith said.

Edmonton pulled to within 5-4 just 31 seconds into the third after Ales Hemsky made a beautiful pass through the crease to a wide-open Petr Sykora. But Colorado restored its two-goal lead just over three minutes later when Stastny beat Dwayne Roloson on a mad scramble in front.

Hemsky intercepted the puck at Colorado's blue-line, then set up Sykora for another easy goal. Then just over a minute later, Joffrey Lupul beat Colorado starter Peter Budaj on a rebound to tie the game.

Edmonton opened the scoring at 4:06 of the first when Toby Petersen's attempted pass deflected off a falling Brett McLean and past Budaj. Jarret Stoll put the Oilers ahead 2-0 at 6:03.

Pierre Turgeon pulled Colorado to within 2-1 at 12:37 when his shot from behind the net hit Roloson's right pad and went in. Raffi Torres made it 3-1 for Edmonton at 15:11 but 49 seconds later Brunette's power-play goal cut the Oilers' lead to 3-2.

Colorado surged ahead 5-3 with a three-goal outburst in the second.

Mark Rycroft tied the score at 7:25 before Burnette added power-play goals at 16:44 and 19:26, setting up a wild third period.

Both teams are in action Thursday as the Oilers head to Phoenix and Colorado hosts the Calgary Flames.

Notes: Oilers forward Ryan Smyth has resumed practising but his broken thumb hadn't healed enough to allow him to play Tuesday . . . Torres registered his 100th career NHL point with an assist on Stoll's first-period goal. Shawn Horcoff recorded his 200th on Sykora's third-period goal . . . Colorado forward Ian Laperriere has just one goal this season after scoring a career-high 21 goals last season.


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