DENVER -- It looked for the better part of 40 minutes last night like Dwayne Roloson was going to have to beat the Colorado Avalanche all by himself to get his 100th NHL win.
While Roloson was clearly up for the challenge, keeping the Edmonton Oilers in a game they had no business being in for two periods at the Pepsi Center, it turns out he had help.
That would be Ryan Smyth, who for the second time in as many games saved the Oilers bacon, this time with two goals, and Petr Sykora, who got what would stand as the winner with his second of two goals 4:11 into the third period in a 4-3 win.
HAPPY 100TH, ROLI
"I didn't even know it was my 100th win until Jussi (Markkanen) gave me the puck after the game," smiled Roloson. "We came out great in the third period and finally found our legs."
Roloson hit the century mark for wins with a 39-save dandy, a performance that kept the Oilers in it until Smyth, Sykora and the rest of his teammates got their heads out of their backsides and into the game.
"He played awesome," said Sykora, after his second two-goal game of the season.
"He kept us in the game. They could have put that game away early on. He deserved that win. Honestly, we kind of got away with that win tonight. We have to play better and smarter."
The Oilers were outclassed and outworked at every turn early - the shots were 7-1 for the Avalanche when rookie Wojtek Wolski sifted a snapshot past Roloson at 8:07.
They got that one back in a hurry when Sykora tipped a Daniel Tjarnqvist shot behind Jose Theodore 39 seconds later. But outshot 12-5, the Oilers were lucky to be even at the intermission.
In the second, Tyler Arnason waltzed in unmolested and snapped a puck top shelf.
Back came the Oilers again, pulling even one more time when Smyth, fresh from a hat-trick against San Jose, re-directed a Shawn Horcoff pass behind Theodore.
Smyth put the Oilers up for the first time 20 seconds into the third period when he deflected Jason Smith's shot, and when Sykora sifted a long snapshot in to make it 4-2, they were in the clear.
"He was unreal," Smyth said of Roloson. "He stood tall and made some great saves. His 100th win, and he was the first star."