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Oilers Top Avalanche


It took the Edmonton Oilers a mere 11 seconds to end more than two years of Colorado-caused frustration.

Scott Fraser set off a fist-pumping on-ice celebration Monday night when he scored 11 seconds into overtime to give the Oilers a 5-4 victory and end a 13-game winless streak against Colorado.

"About time, wasn't it?" Edmonton coach Ron Low asked.

Fraser and Bill Guerin each finished with two goals for the Oilers, who squandered an early two-goal lead and then overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Avalanche for the first time since Dec. 7, 1995. Edmonton had gone 0-12-1 during that stretch.

"THIS WAS A WEIRD ONE AND fortunately we came back," said Oilers goaltender Curtis Joseph, who was pulled after surrendering four goals in a 7:04 span of the second period. "It was about time we won one."

Guerin's power-play goal 7:22 into the third period tied the game 4-4. Fraser scored the game-winner when he corralled the overtime-opening faceoff, skated past Colorado defenseman Alexei Gusarov and flipped a shot over Patrick Roy's left shoulder.

"I told the equipment manager (Barrie Stafford) before the game that I would get a top shelf goal on Patrick," said Fraser, who has four goals in eight games with Edmonton. "I was running out of time."

Peter Forsberg had two assists, and four different players scored for the Avalanche, who dropped to 2-3-16 in overtime and 13-2-3 when scoring four goals.

"To say the least, it was frustrating tonight," Colorado coach Marc Crawford said. "We were guilty of hoping for a victory. Our team didn't really want to work for it, especially in the third period."

ROY, PLAYING HIS 700TH CAREER game, finished with 20 saves, and Edmonton goaltender Bob Essensa stopped 10 shots after relieving Joseph late in the second period.

"He was super," Low said of Essensa. "He came in and did a heck of a job for us. We needed it at the time. We were stumbling."

After a scoreless first period, the teams combined in the second for seven goals as Colorado took a 4-3 lead.

Guerin started the scoring with a backhander past Roy. Fraser, who had only two goals coming into the game, made it 2-0 with a highlight-reel play, faking a forehand shot to get Roy out of position and then cutting across the crease for an easy backhander.

"This is my style of play, and I shouldn't change this just because this is the NHL," Fraser said. "I have been trying things that haven't worked. But the things I have tried have also been productive."

THE AVALANCHE, SHUT OUT by Chicago on Saturday, quickly turned the deficit into a 3-2 lead when Uwe Krupp, Aaron Miller and Shean Donovan scored in three-minute span to end Colorado's 106-minute scoring drought.

Adam Deadmarsh's goal from the doorstep at 18:30 chased Joseph, but the Oilers pulled back within a goal when Doug Weight blasted a shot from the blue ine past Roy seven seconds later.

"We get a two-goal lead and then make a soft pass up the middle with a short amount of time left," Crawford said. "That's indicative of how we played tonight."