EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche are on a roll heading into the postseason.
Erik Johnson led the way with a goal and an assist as the Avalanche gave themselves some breathing room in the playoff picture with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Paul Stastny, Jamie McGinn and Tyson Barrie also scored for the Avalanche, who have gone 7-0-1 in their past eight games.
"We played the type of game that we need to play in the playoffs," Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said.
"It didn't matter that we were playing a team that is out of it. We stuck to our game and I was really impressed with the way we played, it's a really good time for our team."
The win gave Colorado a four-point cushion over the idle Chicago Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division and two points up on the San Jose Sharks for third in the Western Conference. The Avs remained four points back of division-leading St. Louis.
"I think we just want to keep winning," Stastny said.
"We want to get home ice. Whether we catch St. Louis or not, we just want to keep moving forward. If Chicago wins again, we have to win again to guarantee home ice for at least one run. But we're not looking that far ahead, we're just looking at the next game. We just have to keep playing well."
The Avalanche set a team record for road wins with the victory, improving to 25-10-3 away from Denver.
David Perron scored for the Oilers, who had a two-game winning streak end.
"It was a small step backward tonight," Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry said. "We weren't sharp from the beginning of the game on. We weren't making tape-to-tape passes or catching passes. We were just a little bit off tonight."
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins thought it was more than just a little off, especially in light of some of their efforts against top teams of late.
"It was perplexing to say the least," he said. "On our last road trip and our last game here against Anaheim, we were dialed in, each and every guy.
"Tonight we just couldn't get our legs and get into the rhythm of the game. The biggest thing for me was it was almost like we couldn't work because we couldn't make two passes in a row. Our execution was just terrible tonight."
Colorado started the scoring at 4:13 of the first after Stastny swatted the puck in through the legs of an Edmonton defender from the side of the net after goalie Ben Scrivens had made the initial stop on Gabriel Landeskog. It was Stastny's 23rd goal of the season.
The Oilers tied the game on the power play at 16:58 of the first as Perron banked the puck off the skate of defenseman Nick Holden and past Giguere. It was Perron's team-leading 28th goal of the season.
However, the Avalanche restored their lead just 12 seconds later as Johnson skated past Petry and beat Scrivens up high.