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Avalanche top Oilers to remain perfect at home

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche may be struggling on the road, but so far they know how to win at home.

Jamie McGinn had a goal and an assist, P.A. Parenteau and Paul Stastny also scored and the Avalanche beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Saturday.

Semyon Varlamov had 25 saves and Matt Duchene and Ryan Wilson had an assist each for the Avalanche (4-4-0), who have won two straight and stayed unbeaten in three home games.

"In order to have a lot of success in this league, you have to be a dominant home team," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "We're off to a good start with a long way to go here. It is the way we want to play at home. We want to play a fast, quick game."

Nail Yakupov scored Edmonton's only goal, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 37 shots for the Oilers.

Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner each recorded an assist.

The Oilers (4-3-1) jumped ahead with a goal in the first minute when Yakupov beat Varlamov 58 seconds into the game.

Dubnyk made it stand up for a long stretch as Colorado put 22 shots on him before finally getting one past him. After failing to score on a 30-second 5-on-3 chance, the Avalanche broke through.

Parenteau redirected a shot from Wilson over Dubnyk at 12:07 of the second for his sixth goal of the season.

"I saw when he was going to shoot it. He had a lane and I was coming around the net," Parenteau said. "He got a nice shot on it and I picked it up."

Three minutes later, Duchene stole the puck from Hemsky along the boards and fed a pass to McGinn, who tipped it over Dubnyk's right shoulder to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.

It was McGinn's first goal of the season.

"It was due to happen," he said. "It feels even better when you pick up the two points and we stayed hot at home."

The two quick goals were reminiscent of Thursday's loss to when the Sharks scored twice in 1:19.

"It was the same thing in San Jose where for five minutes we let our guard down and started turning the puck over," center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. "Any team in this league is going to be able to take advantage of those."

In the third period, the Oilers had chances to tie it but couldn't capitalize. They hit the post on one shot and Varlamov stoned Hemsky in the slot midway through the period.

The Oilers pulled Dubnyk with 1:30 left on a power play, but it backfired when Stastny came out of the box and scored on an empty net on a breakaway.

Edmonton took six penalties in the game, a statistic coach Ralph Krueger blamed in part on his team being tired after playing three games in less than four days.

"You could feel it on the bench, you could feel in the group. The quickest we're going to play three games in three days," he said. "We are slightly fatigued off the back-to-back and the early start, but let's learn and grow from that. You need to learn to win these games and find way to win these games."

The Avalanche, who were without three of their top forwards, lost Wilson to a leg injury in the second period. He did not return and the Avalanche said he is day-to-day.

NOTES: Gagner has at least one point in each of Edmonton's first eight games. ... Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog missed his fourth straight game with head and leg injuries. Landeskog was injured on a neutral-ice hit at San Jose on Jan. 26. His leg is improving but the Avalanche are being cautious with the head injury. He was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 26. Colorado recalled forward David Van Der Gulik from Lake Erie on Friday. ... At home Colorado is 15-for-15 on the penalty kill. Edmonton center Eric Belanger took a shot off the leg late in the first period and had to be helped to the locker room. He returned to the game. ... Oilers center Shawn Horcoff scratched for the second straight game with a sore neck. Krueger said he should be able to play Monday against Vancouver. ... Colorado forward David Jones was out of the lineup with a knee injury suffered in Thursday's win at Calgary. He is day-to-day.
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