Series (Game 5 of 8)

Series tied 4-4

Game 1: Saturday, October 14th
Game 2: Monday, November 13th
Game 3: Thursday, November 30th
Game 4: Friday, December 15th
Game 5: Tuesday, December 19th
Game 6: Saturday, February 3rd
Game 7: Wednesday, March 21st
Game 8: Friday, March 23rd

Avalanche 7

(17-15-2, 36 pts)

Oilers 6

(17-14-2, 36 pts)

9:00 PM ET, December 19, 2006

Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 2 3 27
EDM 3 0 36

A. Brunette (Avalanche - LW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

R. Torres (Oilers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

P. Stastny (Avalanche - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 3

Brunette records hat trick to help Avs spoil Oilers' rally

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche got three power-play goals from Andrew Brunette -- and still needed more offense to win a wild game against Edmonton.

Brett McLean broke a tie midway through the third period, sending Colorado to a 7-6 victory and spoiling the Oilers' comeback bid Tuesday night.

Elias Says
Petr Sykora
Petr Sykora scored a pair of goals for the Oilers in their loss to Colorado. It was the 32nd two-goal game of Sykora's career, the most in NHL history among players who have never had a hat trick. The only other player with more than 25 two-goal games but no three-goal games is Hall-of-Fame defenseman Larry Murphy (28).

• For more Elias Says, Click here.

Pierre Turgeon and Mark Rycroft also scored for the Avalanche, while Paul Stastny added a goal and three assists. Brunette had his first NHL hat trick, and Peter Budaj made 31 saves.

"We were lucky to get a win and I'm sure they are pretty frustrated right now," Brunette said. "It was just one of those nights when things found a way to bounce themselves into the net. Us blowing two-goal leads twice is frustrating, but we got the win."

Edmonton tied the score at 6 on two third-period goals by Petr Sykora and one by Joffrey Lupul. Toby Petersen, Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres also scored for the Oilers, and Dwayne Roloson stopped 23 shots.

"It was almost like, first save wins," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "You hate to waste some of the plays we made tonight. But we didn't defend like we needed to."

The Oilers pulled to 5-4 just 31 seconds into the third after Ales Hemsky made a beautiful pass through the crease to a wide-open Sykora. But Colorado restored its two-goal lead a little more than three minutes later when Stastny beat Roloson on a mad scramble in front.

Still, the Oilers rallied to tie it.

Hemsky intercepted the puck at Colorado's blue line, then set up Sykora for another easy goal. Just more than a minute later, Lupul beat Budaj on a rebound.

But McLean put the Avalanche ahead for good on a wraparound goal with 8½ minutes remaining.

"I think both teams will say that is not the type of game they wanted to play tonight," McLean said. "I think maybe they got comfortable early on and then we got comfortable when we were up by two. Maybe that had something to do with it."

Edmonton opened the scoring at 4:06 of the first when Petersen's pass deflected off a falling McLean and past Budaj. Stoll put the Oilers ahead 2-0 at 6:03.

Turgeon pulled Colorado to 2-1 at 12:37 when his shot from behind the net hit Roloson's right pad and went in. Torres made it 3-1 at 15:11, but 49 seconds later Brunette's power-play goal cut the deficit to one again.

Colorado surged ahead 5-3 with three goals in the second.

Rycroft tied the score at 7:25 before Burnette added power-play goals at 16:44 and 19:26, setting up a wild third period.

"When you score that many goals you want to have a better result," Oilers captain Jason Smith said. "We didn't execute on our power play or on the penalty kill like we needed to."

Game notes

Oilers forward Ryan Smyth has resumed practicing, but his broken thumb hadn't healed enough to allow him to play Tuesday. ... Torres got his 100th NHL point with an assist on Stoll's first-period goal. Shawn Horcoff got his 200th point with an assist. ... Colorado forward Ian Laperriere has only one goal after scoring a career-high 21 goals last season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press