DENVER (AP) — Jordan Eberle scored and had two assists, Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 shots and the Edmonton Oilers snapped a six-game skid with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.
Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had goals for the Oilers, who kept their faint postseason hopes afloat. They trail current No. 8 seed Columbus by eight points with five games to play.
This also was Edmonton’s first win since firing general manager Steve Tambellini on Monday and replacing him with former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish.
P.A. Parenteau had the lone goal for a struggling Avs squad that’s 2-5-3 over their last 10 games.
Eberle set up two goals with backhanded assists and later added his 13th goal of the season on a backhander that he lifted over goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
Varlamov was rusty in his return to goal after sitting out since early April with a hip ailment. He stopped 20 shots, which was well down from the career-high 50 saves he made at Edmonton on Feb. 16.
The Oilers broke open a tight game in the second period with goals from Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. Colorado couldn’t manage much of an offensive charge in the final period. The Avs went on the power play with 3:07 remaining and pulled Varlamov for an extra skater, but couldn’t get anything past Dubnyk. Edmonton finished the season series against Colorado with a 4-1 record.
It didn’t take long for the Oilers to jump out to an early lead as Hall tapped in the puck 2:33 into the game. He scored just after a penalty on Gabriel Landeskog had expired. Landeskog found himself in the penalty box 30 seconds into the game for boarding.
Parenteau tied the score later in the period, but Schultz’s tip-in gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes.
The signing of Parenteau has been a boon for the Avalanche. He has 41 points this season, which is second-most among players who changed teams before the season. Mike Robeiro of Washington leads the way with 44.
Milan Hejduk was back on the ice for the first time since March 30. He missed five games with a shoulder injury and another four as he worked his way back into form.
This has been an injury-filled 14th NHL season for Hejduk, leading to speculation that he might decide to hang up the skates after the season. Hejduk, the last holdover from the 2001 Stanley Cup title team, ranks second in franchise history in games played (1,019) and fourth in goals (375).
But he’s not ready to commit one way or the other just yet.
“I don’t want to rush it right now,” Hejduk said. “It’s been a rough year overall for everybody here. After the season, I want to sit back, discuss it with the family, decide what’s going to happen.”
NOTES: Colorado C Matt Duchene is hoping he will be asked by Team Canada to play on the world championship squad next month. “Absolutely, I’d play,” said Duchene, who’s represented his country twice at worlds. “Another chance to put on the jersey and perform and have all the eyes on you that are making the decision for next season.” Duchene also hopes to play for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Games. “An absolute dream come true,” he said. … Avs D Erik Johnson (wrist) missed his third straight game. … Near the end of the game, Oilers D Jeff Petry was hit in the face by a shot from Avs F David Jones. Petry stayed down on the ice for several minutes, before skating into the dressing room.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)