EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Sam Gagner scored a pair of goals and added an assist and the Edmonton Oilers snapped a two-game losing skid with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.
Ben Eager and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Oilers (14-12-3) who had won just one of their previous six games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two assists to lead NHL rookies with 32 points.
Jay McClement scored for the Avalanche (13-16-1), who have lost three in a row and eight straight on the road.
Edmonton started the scoring six minutes into the game on a great individual effort by Gagner. He stole the puck from Shane O’Brien in the corner and went hard to the net, getting his own rebound off Kyle Quincey and tucking a power-play goal underneath Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
The Oilers made it 2-0 in the final minute of the opening period as Eager was allowed to get three whacks at the puck before finally chipping in his second of the season.
Colorado cut into the lead at 3:29 of the second period. Edmonton goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin whiffed on an attempt to catch the puck as it came off the boards. It ended up in front of McClement, who swatted it in before Khabibulin could recover.
Edmonton went up 3-1 midway through the second period on a power-play goal as Nugent-Hopkins made a cross-ice feed through Gagner’s legs to Eberle, who sent a shot into the net over Varlamov’s shoulder. It was Eberle’s 30th point of the season.
Khabibulin atoned for his earlier mistake as he stopped Daniel Winnik on a breakaway with seven minutes left in the game. He then stopped Winnik’s rebound attempt and then another rebound shot by David Jones.
The Oilers took a 4-1 lead late in the second period as Nugent-Hopkins fed Gagner on a 2-on-1 opportunity for his second of the game.
Notes: Oilers forward Taylor Hall was injured in the game… Both teams had players out due to league disciplinary actions. Colorado’s Kevin Porter is in the midst of a four game suspension for kneeing Vancouver’s David Booth, while Oilers defenseman Andy Sutton is suspended indefinitely for a hit on Carolina’s Alexei Ponikarovsky on Wednesday, his second suspension of the season. Colton Teubert was called up to take his place… Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson (head) and center Paul Stastny (upper body) missed the game. The Avalanche put Stastny on injured reserve so they could call up rookie Brad Malone from the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters. Malone made his NHL debut against the Oilers. … After starting the season with six consecutive road wins, the Avalanche are 0-7-1 in their past eight games as the visiting team.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)