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Lehkonen scores in OT as rolling Avalanche edge Oilers

Colordao Avalanche Colordao Avalanche celebrate - The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — It was the kind of thrilling ending expected from a potentially deep playoff preview.

Artturi Lehkonen scored with just 0.5 seconds remaining in overtime and added an assist as the Colorado Avalanche battled their way to a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Nathan MacKinnon sent it across to a hard-charging Lehkonen, who scored his 12th of the season. MacKinnon extended his points streak to 15 games in the process.

“(It was) a well-played hockey game by two really good teams, I think,” said Avs head coach Jared Bednar.

“The third was really interesting because they came back and took the lead and we were able to tie it, which was good, and grabbing points out of this building in the middle of a long road trip is encouraging for our team.”

Sean Walker had both goals in regulation for the Avalanche (43-20-5) who extended their win streak to six games.

“I think it was just a team win,” Walker said. “Obviously, it’s getting down to it at the end of the year here. Got to ramp it up, this is the time of year where we’re going into playoffs, so every game is going to be like that coming soon.”

Warren Foegele and Sam Carrick replied for the Oilers (40-21-4) who had their two-game win streak halted.

Connor McDavid was held without a point, ending his home points scoring streak at 26 games.

“I think both teams brought it, it was a really good game. There were a lot of chances both ways. It definitely felt like a playoff game,” said Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner, who made 41 saves. “Obviously it is tough losing, especially with 0.5 seconds left. But that is hockey.”

The teams seemed to be feeling each other out in the scoreless first period. Edmonton had 10 shots on Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev, while Colorado directed seven shots on Oilers starter Skinner.

The Avalanche had a glorious opportunity 4:13 into the second period when Jonathan Drouin was slashed from behind by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a breakaway. Drouin was awarded a penalty shot but was stopped by Skinner.

Colorado broke the deadlock midway through the second as a turnover led to Walker jumping up and getting a clear lane to beat Skinner for his seventh of the season and first as a member of the Avalanche.

Colorado came into the game with a 25-1-3 record when leading after 40 minutes.

It appeared that Edmonton had tied it two minutes into the third, but a video review determined that Zach Hyman had kicked the puck into the net.

Edmonton finally tied the game 5:46 into the third when Foegele tipped an Evan Bouchard shot past Georgiev for his 16th of the campaign.

The Oilers went up by a goal with 8:12 to play in the third after some hard work on the cycle was rewarded when trade deadline acquisition Carrick won a battle for the puck in front and slammed home his ninth of the season and first as an Oiler. Corey Perry picked up an assist for his 900th career point.

Colorado tied the game 2-2 with 5:20 left to play when Casey Mittelstadt made a great feed from behind the net to a pinching Walker, who notched his second goal of the contest to eventually send the game to extra time.

Edmonton had a terrific opportunity a minute into overtime, but Georgiev stopped Nugent-Hopkins on a breakaway.

“It’s a good point, but obviously we would have liked to get the two,” said Oiler Leon Draisaitl.


It was the first of three meetings between the two talented teams. Colorado swept Edmonton in the third round of the 2021-2022 Stanley Cup playoffs. Last season all three games went to overtime. … It was all good news on the injury front for Colorado as three players all returned to action after short stints out. Returning were Zach Parise (who missed three games with a lower-body injury), Lehkonen (absent two games with an illness) and Drouin (missed one game with a lower-body injury). … In addition, the Avs had two players who missed the morning skate due to illness — Cale Makar and Miles Wood — who were both able to play. … Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm returned from an illness, forcing Troy Stecher back up to the press box. … Avs forward MacKinnon is just the fourth player in NHL history to have three points streaks of 14 or more games in a single season. The others — Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne and McDavid — all won the Art Ross Trophy when they did so.


Avalanche: Close out a four-game road trip in St. Louis on Tuesday.

Oilers: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2024.