Oilers 3, Avalanche 2

By: AP
By: AP

Andrew Cogliano's third-period goal helped the Edmonton Oilers end a three-game losing streak and ruin the return of Joe Sakic to the Colorado lineup by beating the Avalanche 3-2 Sunday night.

Sam Gagner and Curtis Glencross also scored for Edmonton. Tyler Arnason and Ben Guite scored for Colorado, which activated Sakic from the injured reserve list after he missed 38 games because of a hernia operation on Dec. 28. It was the longest absence of his career.

Colorado has lost six of seven and is four points out of the eighth playoff spot in the West. Edmonton is seven more points back.

The Avalanche took an early 1-0 lead just 27 seconds into the first period when Arnason was allowed a couple cracks at the puck from the side of the net, somehow managing to squeeze it under the pads of Oilers starter Mathieu Garon.

Colorado extended its lead to two goals with seven minutes remaining after Sakic fed a pass from behind the goal line to Guite, who chipped a shot through Garon's legs.

Edmonton had a good chance to get into the game in the period's final two minutes, with a flurry of shots in tight, but Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore was able to keep the Oilers off the board.

About five minutes into the second, Gagner picked up a rebound of Ales Hemsky's shot and deposited it into the open net. It was the ninth consecutive game Gagner, a rookie, has had at least a point and the longest such streak by anyone on the Oilers this season.

Edmonton tied it halfway through the second when Kyle Brodziak deked around sprawling Avs defenseman John-Michael Liles and dished the puck to Glencross, who scored for the second consecutive game.

Edmonton took the lead 7 1/2 minutes into the third as Cogliano elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 with Gagner, picking the far left corner to make it 3-2.

Colorado nearly tied it up on a late power play with a chance at a wide open net, but Oilers captain Ethan Moreau dived to knock the puck away at the last second to preserve the win.

Game notes
With their captain coming back in, the Avalanche reassigned forward T.J. Hensick to the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL. ... Colorado's leading scorer, Paul Stastny, also returned from a month-long absence due to injury on Friday. ... Although his point streak is still active, Gagner had his streak of consecutive assists stopped at eight games, an Oilers rookie record. Wayne Gretzky had an eight-game assist streak in his first season but wasn't considered a rookie because he had played in the old WHA. ... Before the game the Oilers honored 40 local hockey players who recently broke the Guinness world record for longest hockey game, playing 241 hours.


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