Series (Game 5 of 5)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, October 22nd
Game 2: Saturday, November 30th
Game 3: Friday, December 13th
Game 4: Thursday, December 19th
Game 5: Tuesday, February 25th

Oilers 2

(26-22-8, 67 pts)

Avalanche 4

(30-15-6, 77 pts)

9:00 PM ET, February 25, 2003

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 T
EDM 1 1 02
COL 2 2 04

P. Forsberg (Avalanche - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

A. Tanguay (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

S. Reinprecht (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Sakic returns, but Forsberg line steals show

DENVER (AP) -- Tony Granato simply stated the key to the Colorado Avalanche's success.

Alex Tanguay scored two goals, and Peter Forsberg added three assists as the Avalanche extended their home winning streak to seven with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

"Those three again, have been every game,'' the Colorado coach said of his top line of Peter Forsberg, Alex Tanguay and Milan Hejduk. "They are hungry around the net, they are making plays around the net, they are getting available for one another, and making it look easy for one another, and it's because they are working away from the puck to support each other.''

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish agreed.

"When you have a line that is as hot as Tanguay, Forsberg and Hejduk and when they have the time in front of your net, they are going to capitalize on the chances,'' MacTavish said. "That is what happened.''

Tanguay extended his point streak to a season-high 11 games, in which he has seven goals and 11 assists. Forsberg has 22 points, four goals and 18 assists, in 12 games.

Hejduk had his goal-scoring streak snapped at seven games.

"We feel that if we skate and use our speed with the skill those two guys have, we going to find ourselves having chances,'' Tanguay said of his linemates. "We just have to make sure we keep working hard. If we use our speed we're going to get chances, that's the way we look at it.''

Colorado captain Joe Sakic returned after missing 15 games because of a broken right foot. Rob Blake and Stephen Reinprecht added goals, and Patrick Roy stopped 22 shots to improve to 33-13-6 against the Oilers.

Jason Chimera and Mike York scored for Edmonton, 0-4-1-2 in their last seven games. The Oilers are winless in five road games (0-4-0-1).

Forsberg had assists on the first three Colorado goals as the Avalanche took a 3-2 lead. Blake tapped in a shot from just below the left circle after Hejduk relayed a pass from Forsberg in the slot to make it 1-0 at 5:49.

Tanguay scored at 13:34, faking goalie Tommy Salo to the ice after receiving a pass from Forsberg, who freed himself behind the net. Just 16 seconds later, Chimera cut the lead in half by tipping in a rebound after Roy stopped Steve Staios' shot from the right point.

Colorado took a two-goal lead into the third period after Edmonton tied it 2-2 on York's backhander at 4:51. The Avalanche regained the lead when Forsberg fed Tanguay, whose backhander got through a screen.

"It was incredible,'' Tanguay said of Forsberg's assist. "He waited until the defender looked away and then he just slid it right in the middle. I don't think the goalie saw much.''

Reinprecht finished a three-on-two with a shot past Salo's glove that put the Avalanche ahead 4-2 at 17:15 of the second. Sakic started the play with a steal in the neutral zone.

"We are a struggling hockey club,'' Edmonton's Todd Marchant said. "Somewhere, somehow we have to find our way out of it.''

Game notes

Salo is 9-16-4 against Colorado. ... The Oilers' power play was 3-for-23 in five games against Colorado. ... Edmonton LW Shawn Horcoff drew a boarding minor in the last 10 seconds that turned into a minor scuffle involving all 10 skaters. ... Reinprecht missed on a breakaway chance in the first period while Colorado was short-handed. ... Sakic has missed 24 games because of his broken foot (15) and sprained right ankle (9).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press