|Columbus' Pascal Leclaire stops a shot by Edmonton rookie Liam Reddox on November 18, 2008 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)|
After Monday night's 4-0 loss in Detroit, the Oilers were searching for an offensive spark -- and they found it with seven different skaters in Columbus. The club ignored the lopsided shot-clock to beat the Blue Jackets 7-2 Tuesday night.
Sheldon Souray, Andrew Cogliano, Marc Pouliot, Tom Gilbert, Dustin Penner, Shawn Horcoff, and Lubomir Visnovsky all scored for the Oilers, while Dwayne Roloson made 37 saves for his third win of the season.
The Oilers struggled to clear their zone early in the game, and Roloson took the brunt of the Blue Jackets assault by facing four shots in the first three minutes.
A hooking penalty to Liam Reddox threatened to derail Edmonton's offensive hopes, but Columbus' Jason Chimera soon took a minor of his own to even the odds.
When Reddox completed his two minutes and his club went on a 29-second man-advantage, Sheldon Souray capitalized. The blueliner's scary slapshot powered past Blue Jackets netminder Pascal Leclaire to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead at 5:38.
Columbus continued to out-shoot Edmonton into the latter half of the period, but the visitors would be the next to make one count. After flocking into the Blue Jackets zone, Erik Cole dropped the puck back to Souray who fed Andrew Cogliano at the opposide corner of the crease. Cogliano directed it past Leclaire to put his club up 2-0.
Two minutes into the middle frame, the Blue Jackets got their third man-advantage when Dustin Penner took an interference penalty. Though the club cracked the 20-shot mark on the powerplay (while the Oilers stayed stuck at four), Roloson employed his quick glove to keep the Jackets off the board.
The Oilers were unable to tally a shot through to the midway point of the period but managed to tally another two penalty minutes when Cogliano went to the box for hooking. But Edmonton killed the infraction and went on the offensive once back at full strength. To conclude a three-shot attack on Leclaire, Marc Pouliot converted Cogliano's backhand pass into his first goal of the season and a 3-0 Oilers lead at 12:49 of the second period.
Five minutes later, the Jackets' persistance paid off. After dodging and weaving around the Oilers defenders, Kristian Huselius snapped the puck through traffic and past Roloson to score his club's first goal on their 29th shot.
Columbus hoped to further narrow the gap with their fifth and sixth powerplays early in the final frame, but Roloson and his penalty killers resisted the home advantages and drew a powerplay of their own at 7:23.
Only 21 seconds into the five-on-four, Oilers defenceman Tom Gilbert swept up the slot, snapped up a rebound, and scored on Leclaire to give the visitors a 4-1 lead on only 11 shots.
But the Blue Jackets would cut that lead back to two on their seventh powerplay. With Souray serving a roughing penalty, Rick Nash fooled Roloson with a wrist-shot to set the score at 4-2.
Unfortunately for the home team, the back-and-forth goals would swing back in Edmonton's favour two minutes later. After Sam Gagner carried the puck over the blue line, Dustin Penner assumed control and snapped home his fourth of the season to renew Edmonton's three-goal lead.
With five minutes left to play, Shawn Horcoff and Lubomir Visnovsky added two to the Oilers' tally. Moments after Ole-Kristian Tollefsen was freed from the penalty box, Horcoff beat Leclair to put the Oilers up 6-2. Then less than a minute later, Visnovsky pounced with a post-face-off slapshot tho became Edmonton's seventh -- and final -- scorer of the game.
Although the club would finish 20 shots behind the Blue Jackets, the Oilers carried their five-goal lead to the final buzzer, snapping a three-game losing streak with their highest-scoring performance of the season.