EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche made it look easy against the Edmonton Oilers after struggling all season against Northwest Division rivals.
Gabriel Landeskog and Mark Olver each had a goal and an assist and the Avalanche snapped a two-game skid with a 3-1 victory Friday night.
Erik Johnson also scored and Ryan O'Reilly had three assists for Colorado in its third victory in 17 division games this season.
``All these games are must win for us now and this was a huge one for us,' O'Reilly said. ``We've been terrible in our divisional games this year. To get one like this, hopefully, we can take away some things from this game and what we did to win and learn from them and do them again in our next game.'
Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves, allowing only Ryan Jones' goal.
The Avalanche, 3-1-2 in their last six and 29-26-4 overall, improved to 13-13-3 in the road.
``It's big to break even at .500 on the road,' Johnson said. ``It would be nice to go 2-1 on this trip as we fight for that last playoff spot. It was a huge game for us tonight to help us in our playoff chase.'
The Oilers (22-29-6) who have lost the first two games of their three-game homestand.
Oilers coach Tom Renney missed the game because of post-concussion symptoms in after being hit in the head with a puck during a practice Feb. 6. Associate coach Ralph Krueger directed the team.
``We've had the odd night like this,' Krueger said. ``It's about finding ways to win the difficult games. We knew this was going to be a tough one as they are fighting for their lives. They played very well defensively and didn't give us much deep down in front of the net. They really cleaned that up.
``We can't be happy with the way the goals against us developed. We just didn't create offense. The power play was very disappointing.'
Colorado opened the scoring with 47 seconds left in the first period. The Oilers started scrambling after a poor clearing attempt by goalie Devan Dubnyk, leading Johnson's goal on a blast from the point.
Olver made it 2-0 at 3:55 of the second. O'Reilly made a nice feed through the goalmouth to Olver, who blasted a one-timer for his first goal of the season. Olver was playing in his first game for Colorado this season after being recalled from Lake Erie of the AHL.
Colorado scored again at 9:37 of the period. On a power play, Paul Stastny fed it from behind the net to Landeskog in front of the net for his 14th of the season.
Edmonton had a chance to get back into the game soon after when Ryan O'Byrne took a pair of penalties, but the Oilers were unable to convert on the 4-minute man advantage.
The Oilers did get on the board with 5:19 left in the period when Jones corralled the rebound of Ben Eager's shot and slid a backhand shot past Varlamov.
``I would rather not score and win the hockey game,' Jones said.
Notes: The Oilers won three of the previous four meetings against Colorado this season. ... Colorado G Jean-Sebastien Giguere is sidelined on a day-to-day basis, so Varlamov got the start. The Avs recalled Cedrick Desjardins from Lake Erie to serve as his backup.
The Associated Press News Service
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