The 1997-98 Edmonton Oilers weren’t anything special. They posted a meagre 35-37-10 record, just enough to claw into the playoffs. A nice little 8-2 run in the last 10 games of the season helped the club secure a first-round date with the Colorado Avalanche.
That Avalanche club was much better than that of Edmonton. They had Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg in the primes of their careers and one of the best goalies ever in Patrick Roy. Edmonton, meanwhile, was led by the likes of Doug Weight, Deam McAmmond, Boris Mironov, Todd Marchant and a 21-year-old Ryan Smyth.
But David met Goliath and Edmonton beat Colorado. The series went to seven games which was capped off by a Curtis Joseph shutout 22 years ago today.
Having won game one 3-2, Edmonton felt good with an early series lead but things dropped off a cliff quickly as they lost games two through four, going down 3-1 in the series. With their backs against the wall facing elimination, the Oilers won game five in Colorado 3-1 in thanks to third period goals from Bill Guerin and Mike Grier (who scored twice).
Game six returned to Edmonton. There, Joseph stood on his head stopping 31 shots as goals from Drake Berehowsky and Mironov gave the Oilers a 2-0 win. And in game seven, there was no way Edmonton was going to let it slip away.
Janne Niinimaa got the Oilers an early lead 4:22 into the game and Guerin added another tally with 48 seconds left in the first frame. Todd Marchant and Mats Lindgren got second and third-period markers, and for the second game in a row, CuJo posted a shutout launching the Oilers to victory.
This massive save may have had something to do with it, too.
— Vintage Oilers (@VintageOilers) May 4, 2020
Edmonton advanced to take on the Dallas Stars in the second round, but lost in five games.
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