Oilers 5, Avalanche 4, OT

Headed for a last-place finish in another lost season, the
Edmonton Oilers managed to finish their home schedule on a high

Ryan Whitney scored at 3:50 of overtime to give the Oilers a 5-4
victory over the playoff-bound Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday

Whitney pinched in from the point, took a perfect pass from
Dustin Penner and beat goalie Peter Budaj for Edmonton’s ninth
victory in its last 12 home games.

“This was the perfect way to finish off the homestand,”
Edmonton defenseman Tom Gilbert said. “It’s something that we’ve
been thinking a lot about, trying to play well at home.”

Matt Hendricks tied it at 4 for Colorado with 7:02 left in

After Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Marek Svatos scored in the
first 8:58 to give the Avalanche a 3-0 lead, the Oilers rallied to
take the lead.

“It didn’t look very bright early on, five shots and three
goals,” Oilers coach Pat Quinn said “And it wasn’t the
goaltender’s fault on any one of them. All four goals were on the
doorstep and not what you want to have happen.

“It’s happened to us a lot all season long and it has cost us
some games. But our guys battled in a lot of other areas and came

Shawn Horcoff and Penner had first-period goals, Mike Comrie
tied it on a power play in the second, and Andrew Cogliano made it
4-3 at 6:08 of the third.

“You have to find a way to put a team away when you are up
3-0,” said Avalanche winger Cody McLeod, who had two assists.
“But we let them back in the game and it came back to haunt

The Avalanche clinched a playoff spot Tuesday night with
shootout victory in Vancouver.

Colorado rested captain Adam Foote, forwards Paul Stastny, Milan
Hejduk and TJ Galiardi, defenseman Scott Hannan and goalie Craig

“When you don’t have those guys in the lineup you are going to
feel the effect,” McLeod said. “But we have depth in this room
and there is no way the guys in this room tonight couldn’t have got
it done. We’re going to need everyone come playoff time.”

NOTES: Oilers forward Sam Gagner has decided to call it a season
after missing the last six games because of a sore hip. …
Colorado forward Peter Mueller remains out indefinitely because of
a concussion.