EDMONTON OILERS (8-8-2) at
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (8-7-3)
Start Time: 5:08 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been playing well lately, and can point to the last time they faced the Edmonton Oilers as the starting point for that success.
Looking to continue their recent surge, the Blue Jackets will meet the sputtering Oilers on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena.
Following back-to-back losses after regulation at the start of the month, the Blue Jackets (8-7-2) scored three third-period goals to defeat Edmonton 5-4 on Nov. 5.
Trailing 4-2 early in the third, Columbus got goals 56 seconds apart from R.J. Umberger and Fredrik Modin. Manny Malhotra then scored his first of the season with 1:09 to play.
"That shows were not quitting, and we're sticking to it to the end," said Columbus' Raffi Torres after facing his former team for the first time.
That victory started a 4-1-1 stretch, which featured impressive wins over Montreal and Buffalo.
Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock was still impressed even after a 3-2 shootout loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
"We've had one poor hockey game in the last 12," he said. "It's hard to fault our effort right now."
Rick Nash assisted on Kristian Huselius' goal late in the first before adding his eighth of the season. Nash has scored in three straight games, and has four goals - including a hat trick - and an assist in his last four games versus the Oilers.
Derick Brassard also found the back of the net against the Oilers earlier in the month, and has three goals and two assists in a four-game point streak. He's tied for the league lead among rookies with eight goals.
Pascal Leclaire, who didn't face Edmonton earlier this month while recovering from an ankle injury, returned against the Sabres on Friday, and stopped 36 shots in the 6-1 victory. Leclaire is 4-3-0 with a 3.08 goals-against average this season. Despite a 2.65 GAA in his career against the Oilers, Leclaire is 1-1-2.
The Oilers' most recent loss to Columbus, meanwhile, has sent them into a 2-4-1 tailspin. Edmonton (8-8-2) dropped its third straight on Monday, falling 4-0 to defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit.
"The difference was the second period," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We have five or six red zone chances where it's just us and the goalie and we don't hit the net."
Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves, but Dustin Penner was a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
Penner, now in the second year of a five-year, $21.25 million contract, has only three goals and an assist in 16 games. Last season, he had 23 goals and career-high 47 points in 82 games.
With Penner's status unclear, the Oilers will need Ales Hemsky to continue his scoring prowess on the road. Hemsky leads the team with 17 points, but 14 have come away from Edmonton.
Only Boston's Marc Savard (16 points) and Washington's Alexander Semin (15) have scored more on the road in 2008-09.
The Oilers' Fernando Pisani broke his ankle on Monday, and will be out at least a month. Pisani, an Edmonton native who missed 26 games last season with ulcerative colitis, had two goals and four assists so far.