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Canadian Press
12/1/2006 12:06:22 AM


EDMONTON (CP) - Tyler Arnason scored two goals and added an assist as the Colorado Avalanche buried the Edmonton Oilers 7-3 in a divisional matchup on Thursday night.

The Oilers fell to 13-9-2 and were unable to improve upon their one point lead over Minnesota in the Western Conference's Northwest Division.

Colorado (12-11-2) climbed over the .500 mark and moved out of last place in the Northwest, two points up on Calgary and now just two back of the Oilers in the hotly contested divisional.

Ken Klee had three assists and John-Michael Liles had a goal and two assists for the Avalanche.

Marek Svatos, with two, Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk also scored for Colorado.

Joffrey Lupul, Ryan Smyth and Jarret Stoll replied for Edmonton.

The Oilers opened the scoring 1:22 into the game when Raffi Torres shook off a check and fed the puck to Lupul for an easy tap in. It was Lupul's 100th career NHL point.

The Avalanche responded quickly with two goals in less than three minutes. Liles tied the game with a slapshot from the left circle. Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson got a piece of the shot, but the puck trickled into the net.

Arnason gave Colorado a 2-1 lead when picked up the puck in front of the Oilers net, quickly spun around and roofed the puck over Roloson.

Edmonton tied the game just over 11 minutes into the first as Shawn Horcoff sprung Smyth on a breakaway, and he was able beat Peter Budaj through the pads for his 16th goal of the season and 250th of his career.

Colorado ended the high-scoring first with two late goals. Rookie Stastny tipped a Liles shot past Roloson with the teams playing four on four after both teams took too many men penalties. Arnason followed with his second of the night to give Colorado a 4-2 lead. Roloson allowed four goals on his first 10 shots.

The Avalanche struck 34 seconds in the second period as Hejduk rifled a shot over Roloson's right shoulder.

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