EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - No matter what, one team at the bottom of the NHL standings was going to break a long losing streak.
Ryan Stoa scored the shootout winner and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on Saturday night to snap a 10-game skid.
Stoa scored the only goal of the shootout on a pretty backhand past goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
Kevin Porter and Matt Duchene scored in regulation for the Avalanche (27-36-8), who were 0-9-1 in their previous 10 games and 1-18-2 in the past 21.
``It's a good feeling,' Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. ``To get that weight off your shoulder feels good. The players feel pretty good right now. We can take a deep breath again, go back to work and win some games, put a streak together so we can finish the season off strong.'
It was also a big night for Avalanche goalie Brian Elliott, who earned his first win with Colorado since coming over in a Feb. 18 trade with Ottawa.
``It took a while,' he said. ``It's tough when you don't get wins. It's tough on the mind and even on the body. It wears on you a bit. You have to keep positive. It finally came and hopefully, we can keep it going and put together some wins at the end of the season.'
Jordan Eberle and Kurtis Foster had goals for the last-place Oilers (23-39-10), who have dropped six in a row and are the only NHL team already eliminated from playoff contention.
``I was happy with the third period,' Oilers coach Tom Renney said. ``I thought we were stuck in mud a little bit in the first two periods. We turned the puck over far too much and had a hard time getting some traction. But we stuck with it and were able to crank it up and take control in the third.'
Renney said his team has shown the desire not to finish last in the NHL for the second year in a row. The Oilers, who trail the Avalanche by six points, have 10 games remaining. Colorado will play 11 more.
``I think that is a noble objective and should still be,' he said. ``It's important that they stay with that. The point swing can be real deadly right now when we play these guys. It's a four-point night and they are 29th. We'll see them again. Maybe it will come down to that last game of the season and it will be one hell of a game.'
Trailing 2-1 in the third, the Oilers buzzed around the Colorado net for the bulk of the period and were rewarded with four minutes to play. Linus Omark made a great pass to find Foster in front for an easy tap-in that forced overtime.
Edmonton had the best chance in the extra period on a late power play but Ryan O'Marra sent a shot just wide of an open net.
The game had a spirited start as Edmonton's Ryan Jones and Colorado's Erik Johnson dropped the gloves for a prolonged bout 11 seconds in.
Colorado took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period as Duchene swooped wide and then cut in past Oilers defenseman Jim Vandermeer, tucking the puck in for his 23rd goal.
The Avalanche took the lead into the intermission because of a tremendous glove save by Elliott on Foster, who had an open net.
Edmonton tied the game while Cody McLean was serving a double minor for high-sticking with seven minutes left in the second. Eberle made a nice move to gain position in front of the net before slipping a backhand past Elliott.
Colorado regained its lead four minutes later when Porter skated in alone and slipped a rebound past Khabibulin.
Notes: It was the fifth of six meetings between the teams. Edmonton won three of the previous four, including two 5-1 victories. Colorado will host Edmonton in the final game this season for both teams on April 10. ... Edmonton was without C Colin Fraser (foot). The Oilers were forced to use D Jason Strudwick up front with D Theo Peckham returning from injury. ... Johnson, who left after blocking a shot in the first period of Thursday night's game against Calgary, played after X-rays of his injured ankle were negative.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved