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Old 11-08-2007, 06:17 PM   #64
Bronx33
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Default Avalanche battle for a 4-3 win over Oilers

Another come from behind win for the Avs!

DENVER - Ian Laperriere won't win any beauty pageants.

Neither will his goals. Laperriere scored two goals and assisted on another as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday night. Wojtek Wolski and Marek Svatos scored shootout goals and the Avalanche won for the sixth time in seven games.

There's nothing complicated about Laperriere's game - crash the net, find the puck, knock it in. He'll do whatever it takes to score.

That's evident by his face. His nose is bent to the right, he's got stitches over his left eye and bruises on his left cheek bone. He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team.

"I'm not a goal scorer but I know I can help the team in that regard," Laperriere said. "I was at the right place at the right time."

That always seems to be the case when he's playing Edmonton. Laperriere's last two-goal game came last March against the Oilers.

"Laperriere scores against us all the time," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "Junkyard goals."

Ryan Smyth played against his former team for the second time this season. His wrist shot in the shootout was stuffed by Roloson. He logged 20 minutes, 32 seconds of ice time and took three shots.

Smyth played parts of 12 seasons with Edmonton, appearing in 770 regular season games. It's the fifth most in franchise history.

Budaj finished the game with 30 saves, but came up big in the shootout, turning back Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky and Marty Reasoner.

"They have good shooters," Budaj said. "But the guys came through. It was a big win."

The Oilers remain winless in their last four games. Yet the Edmonton players took solace in the effort after losing 5-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Monday night.

"We came out and showed that we cared, showed that we have respect for the organization," Jarret Stoll said. "We weren't happy with our last outing. We played really hard and battled in every area. They are a good hockey team."

Dwayne Roloson feels like an unlucky goalie right now. Roloson gave up three goals on eight first-period shots against the Wild, before being yanked.

He bounced back with 35 saves against Colorado, but couldn't preserve a 3-2 lead. Laperriere scored his second goal of the game 2:20 into the third period to tie the game at 3.

"I didn't have any luck tonight," Roloson said.

The Oilers scored three times in the first period on goals from Kyle Brodziak, Tom Gilbert and Hemsky. It was a change of pace as Edmonton had been held scoreless in the opening period of its last three games.

"Way more positives than negatives," Stoll said.

Although the Oilers stopped Colorado's red-hot second line, the Avalanche's checking line of Laperriere, Ben Guite and Tyler Arnason picked up the slack. Arnason had a goal and an assist and Guite chipped in an assist.

"I think they were very good," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said.

Colorado is now 8-1 at home this season, matching Ottawa for the best home record in the NHL.

"We found a way to win and that's all that matters right now," Laperriere said.

A win doesn't always have to be pretty, kind of like Laperriere's goals.

"Nothing complicated from my game," Laperriere said with a grin.

Notes: Avalanche F Joe Sakic's eight-game assist and point streak was halted. Sakic's shot in the shootout clanged off the crossbar. ... Wolski played in his 100th game Wednesday night. ... The Oilers entered the game last in the league in power-play goals. They're 5-for-64 this season. ... It was Edmonton's first loss in a shootout this season. The team is now 3-1. ... The Avalanche now have an all-time record of 10-10 in shootouts.
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