Series (Game 3 of 6)

Colorado leads 4-2

Game 1: Saturday, October 18th
Game 2: Thursday, October 23rd
Game 3: Friday, November 28th
Game 4: Tuesday, January 27th
Game 5: Wednesday, February 18th
Game 6: Wednesday, March 10th

Avalanche 4

(14-7-1, 30 pts)

Oilers 1

(10-10-0, 23 pts)

9:00 PM ET, November 28, 2003

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 0 2 24
EDM 0 0 11

Top Skaters

Colorado: J. Sakic - 1 G, 2 A, 3 SOG, +1

Edmonton: M. Bergeron - 1 G, 3 SOG,


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Teemu Selanne has a tough time deciding whether Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg is the Colorado Avalanche's top center.

"I think Joe has played his best hockey with Peter out, but they're also great together," Selanne said. "It's hard to describe what it's like to play with the two best centers in the world."

Sakic had a goal and two assists to lead the Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.

Forsberg has missed the last 12 games with a groin injury. Colorado currently has half-dozen injured players, including Paul Kariya, and has lost 118 man-games to injury -- the most in team history at this point in the season.

But led by Sakic, who has 18 points in his last 15 games -- seven goals, 11 assists -- and NHL scoring leader Alex Tanguay, who has 31 points, the Avalanche are 5-2-0 in their last seven games and 8-2-0-1 in 11.

"We know we have a unbelievable amount of injuries, but we still have a lot of scoring power," said Selanne, who had a goal and an assist against the Oilers. "That's where the depth comes in. If you take even one of those guys out of any other lineup, it's huge.

"But I can't wait to see these (injured) guys play," he said. "When we have a healthy team, it'll be a big step."

David Aebischer made 40 saves for the victory Friday night. Dan Hinote and Martin Skoula also scored for the Avalanche.

"It was fun for me," said Aebischer, who gloved Cory Cross' shot late in the first period and withstood several Edmonton flurries. "I saw a lot of shots. I was busy. Edmonton played well and crashed the net and had a lot of chances."

Marc-Andre Bergeron broke Aebischer's shutout in the third period for the Oilers, who are 0-3-1 in four games after posting four straight victories.

"When you get 41 shots on net, something is wrong when you only get one goal," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said.

"We can stand here and think, `It's Colorado and they have a talent-laden team that comes in and beats us 4-1.' You can rationalize it that way. But we've got to start winning games and they were a beatable team tonight."

Sakic opened the scoring 29 seconds into the second period, his eighth of the season and third in as many games. He circled the net, took a shot at Ty Conklin, then dug out his own rebound and tucked it in with a crowd in front of the Oilers net.

Selanne made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 11:03 of the second.

With the Avalanche patiently whipping precise passes around Edmonton's zone, Selanne had time to retrieve his dropped stick from the corner and re-direct Sakic's pass behind Conklin, his seventh.

Hinote's short-handed goal made it 3-0 at 8:44 of the third. Blake, who also earned an assist on Sakic's goal, squeezed past Mike York along the boards and centered it to Hinote, who beat Conklin up high, his second.

Bergeron scored on the same power play, at 9:35, his fourth. Shawn Horcoff won a draw back to Bergeron, who ripped a slap shot past Aebischer from inside the blue line.

Skoula made it 4-1 with a shot that bounced over Conklin and fell into the net at 12:59 for his first of the season. Sakic assisted on the goal.

Adam Oates, signed to a one-year deal by Edmonton as a free agent Nov. 17, made his debut for the Oilers.

Game notes

Edmonton played with defenseman Eric Brewer, out day-to-day with a groin injury. Bobby Allen was recalled from AHL Toronto but didn't dress. ... Radek Dvorak failed to earn a point Friday, snapping his scoring streak at seven games (four goals, five assists). ... Edmonton and Colorado split the first two games of their six-game season series, with the Oilers winning 6-3 at home on Oct. 18 and the Avalanche winning 6-1 at home on Oct. 23. ... Rob Blake had two assists and Adam Foote had one to give Avalanche defensemen 58 points this season, two more the Vancouver Canucks total for the NHL lead.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press