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Oilers beat Avalanche in high-scoring game

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EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - Magnus Paajarvi scored the go-ahead goal in the closing minutes as the Edmonton Oilers used a team-record 56 shots to rally from a three-goal deficit and beat the Colorado Avalanche 6-4 on Saturday night.

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Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky each had two goals, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers, who trailed 3-0 and 4-1 before storming back. Edmonton had 23 shots in the opening period, 15 in the second and 18 in the third when they scored three times. The Oilers topped the previous team record of 55 shots against the Minnesota North Stars in 1986.

Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene, Jamie McGinn and John Mitchell had goals for the Avalanche, who have lost four of their last five.

The Oilers completed their comeback with 1:34 remaining in the third period as Ryan Smyth chipped a pass to a hard-charging Paajarvi, who had a wide-open net to put the puck into. Eberle capped off the game with an empty-net goal, giving the Oilers their second win in three games.

Colorado scored just 1:22 into the game as the Oilers did a poor job clearing traffic in front of Devan Dubnyk, allowing McLeod to scoop up a loose puck inches in front of the Edmonton goalie and hook it into the net.

Edmonton's best opportunity to that point came with five minutes to play in the first period after a flurry of activity in the Colorado zone when Eberle slid a puck through the crease behind Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov.

Edmonton looked very much as if it was taking over the game, and then the Avs turned the momentum around in a big way with two goals in 25 seconds. Colorado made it 2-0 on a poor goal allowed by Dubnyk as Duchene lost control of the puck while trying to do a deke on the way to the net, only to see it slide between the goalie's legs and in with 1:14 left in the first.

With 49 seconds left, the Avalanche made it 3-0 as Duchene got it across to a wide-open McGinn on a 2-on-1.

Edmonton got one of those goals back with just 3.1 seconds left as Hemsky picked up a bouncing puck at the side of the net to score his sixth of the season on a power play.

The Oilers outshot Colorado 23-12 in the first period and Nikolai Khabibulin came in to start the second in the Edmonton net. Colorado made it 4-1 six minutes into the second on a power play as a deflection on shot by Mitchell had Khabibulin going the other way.

Edmonton got back into the game in a hurry with two goals in just under a minute to make it 4-3.

With four minutes left in the period, Taylor Hall was able to feed it to Nugent-Hopkins in the slot and he scored his first goal of the season to break a 24-game drought dating to last season.

Just 59 seconds later, Hemsky scored his second of the game with a highlight-reel move to fake defensemen Shane O'Brien and then another to do the same to Varlamov.

Edmonton tied it 4-4 nine minutes into the third period as Eberle was able to pick up a rebound and jam home the puck from behind the goal-line on a power play.

Notes: It was the third of five meetings between the teams this season. They split the first two, with each team winning on home ice. The teams split their six season meetings last season. ... Smyth and Ryan Whitney both returned to the Oilers lineup after being benched in the previous game against Dallas. ... Defensemen Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry were both able to play for Edmonton despite suffering minor injuries at practice earlier in the week. ... Among the missing players from the Avalanche lineup are defenseman Erik Johnson (head) and forward Gabriel Landeskog (concussion). ... Last year's leading scorer Ryan O'Reilly continues to hold out due to a contract dispute. ... Edmonton came in having scored only 10 goals in its previous six games. ... Oilers forward Teemu Hartikainen left the game in the second period with a shoulder injury.

AP NEWS
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The Associated Press
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