Final SO

Series (Game 7 of 8)

Series tied 4-4

Game 1: Wednesday, October 5th
Avalanche3Final
Oilers4
Game 2: Friday, October 21st
Avalanche7Final
Oilers1
Game 3: Tuesday, October 25th
Oilers3Final
Avalanche5
Game 4: Monday, November 14th
Oilers5Final
Avalanche2
Game 5: Tuesday, November 29th
Avalanche3Final
Oilers2
Game 6: Tuesday, February 7th
Oilers2Final
Avalanche5
Game 7: Sunday, March 26th
Oilers4Final
SO
Avalanche3
Game 8: Monday, April 17th
Avalanche2Final
Oilers4

Oilers 4

(36-24-12, 84 pts)

Avalanche 3

(39-25-8, 86 pts)

9:00 PM ET, March 26, 2006

Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

1 2 3 SO T
EDM 1 1 1 14
COL 2 0 1 03

P. Budaj (Avalanche - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .889

S. Samsonov (Oilers - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

C. Pronger (Oilers - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Samsonov scores lone shootout goal to lead Oilers past Avs

DENVER (AP) -- Not even a muffed shot on a shootout scoring attempt could ruin the spirits of Edmonton's Ryan Smyth.

Sergei Samsonov scored the lone shootout goal on the first attempt in the tiebreaker to help the Oilers beat Colorado 4-3 on Sunday night, leaving the Avalanche tied for first place in the Northwest Division.

After Samsonov scored, Edmonton's Michael Peca and Smyth failed to get the puck past Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj.

"We needed this one badly," Smyth said. "Right now two points are better than one."

Jarret Stoll and Steve Staios also scored in regulation for the Oilers, third in the division -- two points behind Colorado and Calgary.

"We all know what's going on here and we maintain getting points, especially teams that are right there with us," said Smyth, who scored the first goal of the game for Edmonton. "We had our chances and we still won in a shootout."

The Oilers' Dwayne Roloson stopped Antti Laaksonen, Milan Hejduk and Joe Sakic in the shootout after making 31 saves in regulation and overtime. Oilers coach Craig MacTavish pondered using another goalie a day after Edmonton had beaten Vancouver 3-2.

"My mindset all along with Roloson was that I was going to take my reads from last night's game and determine how many shots he faced, what the result was, and his makeup coming through that," MacTavish said. "After last night's game, I knew I was going to play him tonight."

The Avalanche had much more to stew about, missing a chance to move past Calgary for first place in the division.

"It's tough when you don't need a lot of goals to win and don't," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "But we did get three out of four points this weekend, and we're tied for first place."

Hejduk, Andrew Brunette and Jim Dowd scored goals for the Avalanche.

Stoll broke a 2-2 tie at 3:51 of the third period, deflecting a shot from Raffi Torres between Budaj's pads. Dowd tied it at 3 with his fifth season, scoring off a cross ice pass from Brad May.

"It was just one of those things you just keep going," Dowd said. This is a pressure type team they want to go without giving up on the defensive side."

Colorado spotted Edmonton a 1-0 lead on Smyth 33rd goal of the season, but led 2-1 after the first period. Smyth deflected a shot from the right point past Budaj's stick to put the Oilers ahead 1-0. The power-play goal at 4:28 snapped Colorado's streak of not allowing a goal at home at 125 minutes, 50 seconds.

Brunette and Hejduk scored off rebounds. Roloson stopped John-Michael Liles' shot from in front of the crease, but it went right back to Brunette, who snapped it back in for his 19th goal at 6:49.

Hejduk scored at 14:55 after Brett Clark's slap shot from the right point was stopped. Hejduk skated around a pileup in front of the net and flipped the puck over Roloson.

Staios sent a slap shot off the left skate Colorado defenseman Karlis Skrastins' in the last minute of the second period to it at 2. Edmonton controlled play for most of the period despite being outshot 8-6.

Game Notes
The game was the 100th meeting between the two teams. ... Edmonton is 5-7-0-0 on the second night of back-to-back games. ... Colorado hadn't allowed a goal at home since Feb. 28 when Marian Gaborik of Minnesota scored at 18:38 of the third period. ... Sakic has a seven-game point streak.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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