Edmonton Oilers lose to Avs; will face Kings in 1st round of playoffs

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The Edmonton Oilers’ regular season ended with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night in Denver.

The Oilers held Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Evan Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm out of the lineup. Evander Kane missed his third straight game with a minor injury.

“It’s not easy replacing six guys that play over 18-20 minutes a night,” Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse said after the game. “But I thought we battled hard. They’re a great team.

“They had their full lineup; they’re ready for their playoff mode and they came out hard.”

It took the Avs only 1:19 to grab the lead on a goal by Valeri Nichushkin.

Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen sniped his 42nd of the season,

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Nichushkin scored on the power play, and Andrew Cogliano deflected a shot past Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner to make it 4-0 before the game was eight minutes old.

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Dylan Holloway put the Oilers on the board with a power-play tip for his sixth of the season.

Skinner stopped nine of 13 shots in the first period and was replaced by Calvin Pickard to start the second.

Zach Parise made it 5-1 Avs with 8:00 to go in the second.

“I think the first 10 minutes we were a little bit starstruck, or just paralyzed trying to make the perfect play,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said. “We weren’t moving our feet. We were overthinking, and ultimately we were just defending, and they were making plays and they really took it took us in the first 10 minutes. And then it got a little bit better.

“By the end of the second period, I think we started skating, simplifying our game and just playing hockey. And it was much better after that.”

The third period was scoreless.

The Oilers finish the season with a record of 49-27-6 and will face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

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Game 1 is Monday at Rogers Place. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED, beginning with The Faceoff Show at 6 p.m. The actual game starts at 8 p.m.



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