Dubnyk makes 37 saves as Oilers dump Avalanche
EDMONTON — Devan Dubnyk made 37 saves Monday and the Edmonton Oilers scored of all their goals on the power play to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1.
Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff and Nail Yakupov, into an empty net, scored on the man advantage for the Oilers (3-2-0).
Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner each picked up two assists for Edmonton, which finally got a strong start to a game after falling behind in each of its four previous outings.
P.A. Parenteau replied for the Avalanche (2-3-0), who have lost two in a row to start a four-game road trip.
Edmonton opened the scoring with five minutes left to play in the first on the tail end of a power play.
Hemsky swooped in and swatted a puck past Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov during a scramble in front of the net.
The Oilers added another power-play goal with two minutes left in the period as Eberle picked the top corner on a shot from the top of the circle for his third of the season.
Edmonton had 14 shots in the first while Colorado only managed three on Dubnyk.
The Oilers took a three-goal lead midway through the second period on yet another man-advantage opportunity as Hall’s shot hit Horcoff’s skate in front and squeaked past Varlamov.
Colorado had its best chance to that point of the game a minute later as Jamie McGinn had Dubnyk beat but rang a shot off the post.
Persistent pressure by the Avalanche in the third finally paid off eight minutes in as Parenteau fired a shot under Dubnyk’s pads at the side of the net to make it 3-1.
Yakupov scored his third of the season on yet another power play with 30 seconds left and Varlamov on the Colorado bench for an extra attacker.
Varlamov finished the night with 23 saves.
Both teams return to the ice on Wednesday as the Oilers begin a three-game trip in Phoenix, while the Avalanche visit Vancouver.
Notes: It was the first of five meetings between the Northwest Division rivals. The teams split their six season meetings last season. ... The Avalanche were without captain Gabriel Landeskog, variously listed as out with leg and/or a head injury. Landeskog was levelled late in the first period by San Jose’s Brad Stuart in Colorado’s last game, but did return to finish the contest. ... The Avs remain without last year’s leading scorer Ryan O’Reilly, who is holding out due to a contract dispute. ... Edmonton made one lineup change, pulling out newly-acquired defenceman Mark Fistric for Corey Potter. ... Injured for the Oilers were Ben Eager (concussion), Nikolai Khabibulin (hip) and Theo Peckham (hip), who are all out day-to-day. Ryan Jones (eye) and Andy Sutton (knee) are out indefinitely. ... The Oilers came into the game having been shorthanded 13 times in the first period in four games so far this season, the most in the NHL. They took two first-period penalties against Colorado.