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Cogliano nets third straight OT winner as Oilers edge Blues 4-3

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Cogliano nets third straight OT winner as Oilers edge Blues 4-3

The Canadian Press
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EDMONTON - You know you've done something impressive when there isn't even a category for it in the record books.

Rookie Andrew Cogliano scored the overtime-winner for an NHL-record third consecutive game as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Tuesday.

Cogliano, who is the first NHL player ever to score three straight overtime-winners, took a feed from Sam Gagner and beat Blues goalie Manny Legace with just 4.9 seconds left to give his team the win.

The 20-year-old Toronto native admits it is pretty special to accomplish something the league hadn't even thought to include an official record for.

"It was pretty shocking," Cogliano said. "It's hard to believe something like this, it's certainly a feeling I will remember for the rest of my life.

"Things like this don't happen often. I think I've just been really lucky to have those opportunities go in for me. But yeah, three in a row, that feels pretty good."

His set-up man, 18-year-old fellow rookie Gagner, was suitable impressed.

"It's pretty unbelievable," he said. "It's special for him and special for the team as well. When you are fighting for a playoff spot you need every point you can get. He's stepped up and played great and has scored some crucial goals for us."

Gagner, Zack Stortini and Jarret Stoll had the other Oiler goals to capture their seventh win in their last eight games as Edmonton (34-31-5), continued their desperate push to get into the Western Conference playoff picture, and are now seven points back of eighth-place Vancouver.

Oiler head coach Craig MacTavish says they were lucky to collect two points after allowing an early 3-0 lead slip away.

"That was a wild game," he said. "Kind of hard on the heart for this time of year. You take a 3-0 lead and you think maybe it is going to be an easy night for us.

"We have a young team and you got seduced into thinking it's going to be point night. Hopefully, we have learned a lesson here."

The Blues had goals from Andy McDonald, Lee Stempniak and Brad Boyes.

It was the fourth consecutive loss for the St. Louis (29-30-11), mired in a real slump, losers of 10 of their last 11 games.

Legace felt there were at least some positives to be found after his team fought back to make a game of it.

"I was terrible in the first period and the guys came back and bailed me out, and we played great the rest of the way," he said. "I was quite proud of them. We had a phenomenal second period."

Blues head coach Andy Murray admitted it was something else to see Cogliano come through again, though it's not likely to be a favourite memory.

"Obviously we scouted the two previous wins and saw the Columbus one and saw the one in Chicago, and he was on the ice and put the puck on his stick with a few seconds left in the hockey game, so good for him, but I didn't really enjoy watching it," he said.

Edmonton got off to a quick start, scoring just under three minutes in on its first shot. Stortini, who's known more for his fists than his hands, picked the corner behind Blues starter Manny Legace with a wrist-shot.

The Oilers took a 3-0 lead before the mid-mark of the first, striking on a pair of power-play goals. Gagner fed a pass back to Stoll at the point on a two-man advantage and he unleashed a cannon into the back of the net. Gagner was credited with Edmonton's second power-play goal as he attempted to feed the puck in front to Dustin Penner, only to see the puck carom in off the skate of Blues defender Eric Brewer.

The Blues got a break of their own late in the period to cut Edmonton's lead. Boyes' long dump in shot took an odd bounce off the boards and came out to McDonald, who had an easy tap in with Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon badly out of position.

St. Louis put themselves back into the game just 40 seconds into the middle frame as Stempniak batted a pass from David Backes between Garon and the post to make it 3-2.

The Blues continued to pressure and tied the game just over 11 minutes into the second as Paul Kariya made a nice feed from behind the net, allowing Boyes to sneak his 37th of the season in through the back door.

The Blues almost took their first lead late in the period as Kariya had Garon beat but Oiler defenceman Denis Grebeshkov was able to block the shot in the crease and prevent the goal.

The Oilers now embark on a three-game road trip, starting out on Thursday night in Colorado. The Blues continue their mammoth nine-game road trip in San Jose on Friday.

Notes: St. Louis has been hit with a rash of injuries of late. Already missing Dan Hinote and Mike Johnson, the Blues were without Keith Tkachuk (shoulder) for the second game in a row and blue-liner Jay McKee, who suffered an ankle injury on Monday in Calgary. Defenceman Roman Polak was recalled from Peoria (AHL) as a replacement. ...Cogliano scored the overtime winner in each of Edmonton's previous two games, becoming the first rookie in NHL history to do so. ...It was the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season. Edmonton ended up winning the series 3-1.

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Cogliano nets third straight OT winner as Oilers edge Blues 4-3