DENVER â€” Laurent Brossoit didn’t get a lot of action when he came into the game, but the backup goalie’s presence sparked a rare third-period comeback for the Edmonton Oilers.
Drake Caggiula and Jordan Eberle scored 1:10 apart to break a tie late in the third period, and the Oilers rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 on Thursday night.
Eberle scored twice in Edmonton’s five-goal third period and also added an assist. Zack Kassian and Leon Draisaitl also scored in the rally that moved Edmonton into a tie with Anaheim for second in the Pacific Division with 89 points.
“The first two periods we weren’t at our best,” said Caggiula, who had his first goal since Jan. 26. “We had pretty tough talk among ourselves. We had the resiliency to come back and have our best performance at the end.”
Brossoit came in relief of Cam Talbot for the second straight night to start the third period and stopped all six shots he faced for his second career victory. It was enough to let his teammates come through with a five-goal outburst in the third and improve to 6-17-3 when trailing entering the final 20 minutes.
“It’s not easy, the games like this when I’m coming in relief,” Brossoit said. “We just changed our energy level, you could tell that everyone was doing the details and little things and battling.”
Andrej Sekera had a goal and two assists, Milan Lucic also scored for Edmonton, which lost to the Ducks on Wednesday but salvaged the two-game road trip.
The Oilers tied it early in the third and then scored three times in the final 2:11. Caggiula beat Jeremy Smith on a pretty pass from Draisaitl to give Edmonton a 5-4 lead, Eberle added to it and Draisaitl scored into an empty net in the final minute to seal it.
Mikko Rantanen had two goals, J.T. Compher and Rene Bourque had a goal each and Nathan MacKinnon finished with two assists for Colorado.
“We were in complete control of the hockey game. We get a big kill that we needed at 4-4, the game’s still there for us,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “With the exception of one or two shifts we just didn’t push.”
The Avalanche got early goals from Rantanen and Compher to take a 2-0 lead but Edmonton tied it with goals by Sekera and Lucic 57 seconds apart spanning the first and second periods.
Rantanen broke the tie at 4:22 of the second with his second of the night, and Bourque’s 12th of the season at 17:45 made it 4-2.
Talbot gave way to Brossoit to start the third, but it was Edmonton’s offence that sparked the comeback. Kassian started it when he snuck behind Smith to knock in the puck sitting in front of the empty net at 2:44 of the third.
“I feel like it happens every game. We lead in the third period, and then we just give up easy goals,” Rantanen said. “We could have probably kept four of those away but we can’t do it.”
Eberle, who assisted on Lucic’s goal, tied it at 4:34 with his 15th of the season.
“I didn’t think we were the best team and we were lucky enough to win the game,” Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. “Had a little bit of puck luck.”
NOTES: Talbot allowed four goals on 15 shots a night after he was pulled when he allowed four goals on 18 shots. … Edmonton C Connor McDavid increased his lead in the scoring race with two assists. He has 87 points, six ahead of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. … The Avalanche have been outscored 22-10 during their four-game losing streak and 28-15 in the last seven games. … MacKinnon’s two assist gives him 200 career points.
Oilers: Host the Avalanche on Saturday night to complete the home-and-home set.
Avalanche: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
The Associated Press