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Avalanche pile on Oilers to record third consecutive win

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj nearly paid for
not playing it safe.

But after he gave up a soft goal to Edmonton's Marc-Andre
Pouliot in the first period, teammate Milan Hejduk tied it, Budaj
buckled down and the Avalanche went on to a 4-1 win over the Oilers
on Friday night.

"I knew I had done something that I'd never do," Budaj said of
allowing Pouliot to score his first goal of the season. "Instead
of making the safe play with my stick, I tried to make the play
with my glove."

The Oilers never threatened again.

John-Michael Liles and Wojtek Wolski scored second-period goals
in helping the Avalanche to their third straight victory. Tyler
Arnason also scored for Colorado, Joe Sakic extended his point
streak to five games with two assists, and Brett Clark added two
assists.

"That first-period goal was the trigger for us," Colorado
coach Joel Quenneville said. "Milan got us a fortunate goal right
back and Peter responded after that."

Budaj stopped 18 shots for his third win in as many games.
Colorado's first three-game winning streak of the season moved it
into a second-place tie with idle Minnesota.

"I had a lot of things going for me," Budaj said. "It wasn't
like many of their shots were great chances and a lot of them were
hitting me in the chest."

Pouliot's goal was only his second in 17 career games, and
Dwayne Roloson stopped 12 of 16 shots for Edmonton, losers in three
of four.

Edmonton failed to convert on five power plays. Colorado's power
play was 0-for-4 against the NHL's top penalty killing unit.

"We played predictably lethargic," Edmonton coach Craig
MacTavish said. "It's disappointing because I thought the game was
there for us early."

Edmonton hadn't tested Budaj when Pouliot sent a slow-moving
shot that got past Budaj when he didn't smother the puck at 15:31
of the first period.

"It was just a bad goal," Budaj said. "I'm thankful we came
back right away."

Hejduk matched Pouliot's goal with a wrist shot from the right
circle at 17:37 when Roloson was late moving over to the left side
of the crease.

The Oilers appeared to show the effects of playing the night
before when they gave up goals to Liles and Wolski in the second
period. Liles went end-to-end and got his own rebound to send a
shot past Roloson at 2:42.

"I was aggressive on that play," Liles said. "My aggressive
play was rewarded."

Wolski picked up a loose puck deep in the neutral zone and beat
Roloson from the slot after taking a return pass from Andrew
Brunette at 10:18 of the period to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead.

Arnason's 10th goal of the year made it 4-1 at 3:11 of the third
period. The teams were skating 4-on-4 at the time.

The Oilers failed to put a shot on goal in four power plays in
the third period.

"This loss didn't have anything to do with us being tired,"
Edmonton center Toby Petersen said. "It was all about us not
sticking with our system."<
^Notes@: G Jussi Markkanen replaced Roloson at 5:11 of the third
period and the Oilers trailing 4-1. ... Edmonton's Ryan Smyth
missed his seventh straight game with a fractured right thumb. ...
Colorado D Patrice Brisbois was a late scratch with the flu. ...
Colorado D Karlis Skrastins played in his 465th consecutive game.
... Tyler Arnason had his 100th career assist.