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Avs Edge Oilers 2-1 In OT

DENVER -- In the throes of a rare three-game losing streak, the Colorado Avalanche got just what they needed Monday night -- a date with the Edmonton Oilers.

Eric Lacroix deflected a shot past Edmonton goaltender Curtis Joseph 1:49 into overtime to give the Avalanche a 2-1 win over the Oilers, who are 0-5 against Colorado this season and winless in their last 13 regular-season meetings (0-12-1).

"It's a big win for us," said Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy, who finished with 19 saves, including a diving stop with 3:08 left in regulation. "Even a tie, we would not be that happy."

A holding penalty on Drake Berehowsky 1:44 into overtime set up Lacroix's deflection of Sandis Ozolinsh's blast from the slot. The Oilers protested that Lacroix was in the crease, but replays showed otherwise.

"I thought I was in the crease," Lacroix said. "It happened so fast, I didn't look to see if I was in the crease or not. Ozolinsh got a great shot. They said that it touched my skate and deflected in."

Of the rare overtime penalty call, Berehowsky pleaded innocent to pulling down Valeri Kamensky deep in the Edmonton zone.

"It was a terrible call," he said. "He was leaning into me. He didn't have a scoring chance and he wasn't close to the net. ... I didn't have to sit in the box too long. You hope they don't score, but that is the way it ended. I have to live with it."

The Avalanche appeared headed for their first four-game losing streak since February 1994, when they still played in Quebec, but Claude Lemieux beat Joseph on a rebound 4:09 into the third period to tie the game 1-1.

"Tonight's game was a step in the right direction," Colorado coach Marc Crawford said. "We want to get our habits better. We want to get a commitment where we do all the little things right."

Edmonton failed to convert four power plays in the final 20 minutes, and Joseph was denied his 200th career win for the second time. He finished with 26 saves, including a clutch stop on Ozolinsh's shot from 10 feet with 8.9 seconds left in regulation.

"That was a good hockey game. We couldn't have played a better road game," Edmonton coach Ron Low said. "We deserved a better fate."

Edmonton broke a scoreless tie 8:52 into the second period as Tony Hrkac streaked dow the right side on a 2-on-1 break and flipped a shot over Roy's left shoulder for an unassisted goal, his eighth of the season.

"I thought I had him all the way, and it hit my glove," Roy said. "Every time you give up a goal, you hope that's not going to be the game right there."

The Avalanche had a goal disallowed less than four minutes later because Rene Corbet was in the crease when Shean Donovan forced a close-in shot past Joseph.

Neither team scored in a penalty-free first period. The Oilers had the best scoring opportunity when Boyd Devereaux stole the puck behind the net and fed Rem Murray in front, but Murray missed wide left.

The loudest cheer of the period came when a highlight clip of the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl victory was shown on the big screen. The game was announced as a sellout, but McNichols Arena was only about three-quarters full because a simultaneous Broncos rally at nearby Mile High Stadium.

Linesman Baron Parker left the ice at 8:52 of the second period after injuring his left leg in a collision with Edmonton's Kelly Buchberger against the boards. Parker returned 10 minutes later and finished the game.

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