Oilers catch-up game falls short 4-2 vs. Blue Jackets
|Edmonton's Devan Dubnyk makes a save vs. Columbus Thursday, January 7 at Rexall Place. The Blue Jackets went on to beat the Oilers 4-2. (Photo by Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
Much like in Tuesday's game vs. Phoenix, the Oilers battled back twice to tie the Blue Jackets Thursday night, but when the visitors took a two-goal lead, the home team ran out of time. Two late powerplays and an empty net couldn't push the game into sudden death, and the Oilers finished 60 minutes with a 4-2 loss.
Fernando Pisani and Sam Gagner
scored Edmonton's two goals, while Devan Dubnyk
stopped 25 shots in his second career NHL start.
Dubnyk was kept busy in the first 10 minutes, facing -- and turning away -- 10 shots. At the opposite end of the ice, former Oiler Mathieu Garon was tested with five.
At 13:30, Edmonton was put on the penalty kill when Patrick O'Sullivan tripped up Raffi Torres. The Oilers outlasted the two minutes and limited the Blue Jackets to two shots, but after the infraction ended, R.J. Umberger blindly backhanded the puck over Dubnyk to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
1:19 later, the Oilers countered. After cutting up the right wing with the puck, Pisani beat Garon with a snapshot for his first goal of the season.
The goal ensured the Oilers would start the middle frame trailing 15-8 on the shot clock but tied 1-1 on the scoreclock.
Edmonton and Columbus were evenly matched through the early part of the second until Antoine Vermette and Fredrik Modin took overlapping penalties. The resulting powerplays, including a 35-second five-on-three, helped the Oilers hit 13 shots but didn't yield a go-ahead-goal.
With two minutes left in the frame, Robert Nilsson pounced on Garon with the puck, resulting in a pile-up in the net. Nilsson celebrated as if the puck crossed the line, but video review proved otherwise and the 1-1 game continued.
Less than a minute later, the Blue Jackets got the puck across the line at the other end and it stuck. From the top of the left face-off circle, Antoine Vermette snapped the puck past Dubnyk to renew Columbus' one-goal lead heading into the third period.
1:36 into the final frame, the Oilers evened things up a second time. With help from Denis Grebeshkov and Ryan Stone
, Gagner got the best of Garon with a quick glove-side shot to notch his ninth goal of the season.
Two minutes after the goal, the Blue Jackets got the chance to jump back ahead on the powerplay, and they did. Only nine seconds into Steve Staios' interference penalty, Umberger and Kristian Huselius teamed up to fool Dubnyk and make it 3-2 Columbus.
The Blue Jackets doubled that lead later in the period when defenceman Jan Hejda's slapshot cleared the crowd and sailed into the net.
Edmonton hoped two late Columbus penalties and an empty net would give the club the edge to force extra time, but the extra attackers failed to beat Garon a third time and the Blue Jackets walked away with a 4-2 win Thursday night.
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