EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) – Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle gave the Edmonton Oilers a glimpse at their future.
The top overall pick in the June draft, Hall scored with 29 seconds left to give the Oilers 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
“It was definitely a big goal for our team, no matter who got it,” said Hall, who took a nice feed from fellow rookie Eberle on the goal. “Especially, to get a home win like this. To put our sticks up at the end of the game and know we played our hearts out.”
Hall has five goals this season. He also had an assist.
“What I like about Taylor is that he is going to shoot it through the net when he has an opportunity like that,” coach Tom Renney said. “He’s not just going to get it there. He’s got everything on it. It was a great play all around just to get it to him.”
Gilbert Brule and Andrew Cogliano scored in the first 3:51 to stake the Oilers to a 2-0 lead, but Colorado rallied to tie it on goals by Kevin Shattenkirk in first and Matt Duchene in the second.
Martin Gerber, making his first start of the season, made 35 saves for the victory, his first in the NHL in almost 20 months and the Oilers’ first at home since Oct. 10.
Gerber was called from Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League after regular starter Nikolai Khabibulin went down with a groin injury.
“It is a great feeling to even get to start a game at this stage in my career,” said the 36-year-old Gerber, who spent last season playing in Russia. “It’s a great opportunity and it felt great to be in there. The guys played really well in front of me and it made it a lot easier.
Gerber also had an assist on the winning goal.
The Avalanche have lost two straight, but remain tied with Vancouver for the Northwest Division lead.
The Avalanche tied it on a power play 3 minutes into the second period when the puck got caught up in defenseman Theo Peckham’s skates and Duchene swooped in and sent it into a wide-open net.
“We didn’t have a good start to the game,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “We had a few guys that weren’t ready when the puck dropped and that cost us a couple of goals. We got ourselves back into it and played pretty well after that until we got caught on our heels a little bit in the third.
“You certainly don’t want to give up a goal in the last minute of the game.”
NOTES: Oilers forward Ales Hemsky was scratched because of a groin injury. … Edmonton defenseman Ladislav Smid returned to the lineup following a concussion. … It was the first meeting of the season between the teams. The Avalanche went 3-2-1 against the Oilers in 2009-10.
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