EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) Gabriel Landeskog came back at the right time for the Colorado Avalanche.
Landeskog had a goal and an assist in his return from a three-game suspension as the Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 Sunday night for their third straight win.
“I felt good. It’s tough watching,” Landeskog said. “I was hungry and ready to go. But the guys have done a great job throughout the road trip to make sure we’re in a great spot and I was just hungry to come out and help out.”
The Colorado captain’s offense was badly needed with his team currently without their two leading scorers, injured centers Matt Duchene and Nathan McKinnon, and in the midst of a heated playoff race.
“We played really well,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. “I thought we had a great start and our power play was outstanding. Our puck possession was outstanding, we were able to hold on to the puck in the O-zone and we had a lot of shots. I was very happy with the performance of the team.”
“Tonight was one of those games where it was a desperate team battling for the playoffs,” Oilers forward Mark Letestu said. “It really showed early on. Their pace was higher than ours.”
With the loss, the Oilers were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for the 10th consecutive year.
“We may not be a playoff team, but we have playoff fans,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “At some point, we have to reward them.”
Landeskog and Barrie scored in the second period to give the Avalanche a 2-0 lead.
Landeskog took a feed from Carl Soderberg in front and showed good patience before sending a backhand shot past sprawling goalie Laurent Brossoit at 1:19. Barrie;s point shot deflected off of defender Mark Fayne and into the Edmonton net with 8:29 left.
Hendricks got the Oilers on the scoreboard with his second goal in two games at 2:53 of the third. Mark Letestu battled hard in front to sweep a puck to Hendricks, who tapped his second goal in as many games into a wide-open net.
However, Comeau deflected Erik Johnson‘s shot to restore Colorado two-goal lead at 9:09.
Nugent-Hopkins closed the scoring as he converted a pass from Connor McDavid with just under 7.6 seconds remaining.
Brossoit finished with 22 saves to fall to 0-3-1 this season.
There was no scoring in the first period, with Colorado putting 12 shots on Brossoit and the Oilers taking eight shots on Pickard.
NOTES: It was the third and final game of the season between the two teams this season, with Colorado winning all three. … The Avalanche have suddenly been hit by the injury bug, with Matt Duchene (knee), Nathan MacKinnon (knee), Eric Gelinas (elbow), Brad Stuart (back) and Jesse Winchester (head) all out, although Landeskog did return after serving a three-game suspension. … The Oilers have been injured pretty much all year, currently without Oscar Klefbom (foot), Andrew Ference (hip), Brandon Davidson (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Eric Gryba (knee) and Adam Pardy (hand).