MacKinnon’s SO goal beat Oilers for Avs’ 6th straight win
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon scored the shootout winner after having Colorado’s lone goal in regulation, leading the Avalanche to their sixth straight victory with a 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
Darcy Kuemper made 49 saves for the Avalanche, who are 11-1-1 in their last 13 games and tied a franchise record with their 52nd win of the season.
“It’s always nice to end it with a save and it’s a great feeling getting the win,” Kuemper said, “We know we have a special group in here and it’s been a really fun season getting that many wins, but our ultimate goal is still ahead of us here.”
Warren Foegele scored for the Oilers, whose six-game winning streak ended. Edmonton’s nine-game streak at home was also snapped.
“I saw everybody lay it on the line and compete at a very high level,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “We got an important point out of that game, though obviously we wanted two. We lost the skills competition in the shootout. We had chances to win that game and I am proud of the effort that our players put forth.
“It was a playoff-like feel to that game.”
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had his 15-game point streak ended.
“It was a playoff-style game,” he said. “Not a ton of chances going either way and I liked how we stuck with it and hung in there against a good team and found a way to get a point.”
There was no scoring in the first period, although Colorado hit three posts behind Mikko Koskinen, including shots from Cale Makar and Bowen Byram. Meanwhile, Kuemper had to make a huge glove save on Jesse Puljujarvi.
Edmonton broke the deadlock 5:24 into the third period when Foegele deflected a long-range shot from Darnell Nurse past Kuemper. The Oilers entered with a 25-2-0 record when scoring first.
Colorado tied it with 5:07 remaining in the third when a shot caromed off Valeri Nichushkin in front to MacKinnon, who sent a backhand shot home for his 26th.
Koskinen made a couple key saves on a late Avalanche power play to send the game to extra time.
Kuemper then made a few massive saves of his own on a rare overtime power play for the Oilers, setting up the shootout. Edmonton outshot Colorado 11-0 in the OT session.
“I thought he was great, especially on the power play at the end of the game, it’s a big moment,” Avalanche coach Jared Bender said of Kuemper. “That and the shootout, I thought he was outstanding right from the start. He had a great start to the game and he carried that through the night, he was tough to beat. I thought their guy was pretty good, too.”
NOTES: It was the second of three meetings between the two teams, with the Avalanche winning the first 3-2 in Denver on March 21 on MacKinnon’s overtime goal. The Oilers host the Avs again on April 22 ... While Edmonton had its full regular lineup, Colorado was without Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Nazem Kadri (upper body) and Ryan Murray (upper body). D Samuel Girard returned from a lower-body injury.
Avalanche: Host Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Oilers: At Minnesota on Tuesday night.
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