Oilers quell comeback, undo Jackets 4-2
|Edmonton's Gilbert Brule attempts to get the puck past Columbus' Steve Mason Thursday, March 3 at Rexall Place. (Photo courtesy of Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)
42 penalty minutes, two fights, and six goals highlighted an action-packed contest in which the Oilers emerged victorious, defeating the Blue Jackets 4-2 on Fan Appreciation Night at Rexall Place.
But it wasn't all good news for Edmonton: after registering a Gordie Hall hat trick with a goal, assist, and fight, Taylor Hall
suffered a left ankle injury and had to leave the game early.
Columbus tallied the game's first three shots and then three more on the power-play as Edmonton's Richard Petiot
served an interference minor.
turned them all away and then stepped aside as Jason Strudwick
and Derek Dorsett decided to drop their gloves in his crease. Strudwick earned the decision and a resounding applause as he skated over to serve his fighting major.
One minute after the fight, former Oiler Ethan Moreau was called for interference. Edmonton was aggressive, testing goalie Steve Mason with four shots, but couldn't get the puck across the line.
Near the period's midway point, Petiot dragged down a streaking RJ Umberger, resulting in a penalty shot for the Jacket. Dubnyk made another save, his ninth of the game, to keep it scoreless.
The infractions kept coming and Edmonton finally made one count. With Dorsett serving a goaltender interference minor, Sam Gagner
caught a perfect cross-ice pass from Magnus Paajarvi
and wristed it past Mason to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
With 3:09 remaining on the clock, Edmonton got goal number two. Cutting in from the left wing, Taylor Hall
bumbled the puck past Mason for his 22nd goal of the season and a 2-0 Oilers lead.
The score stuck until the buzzer.
It didn't stay the same for long, however. Only 14 seconds into the second period, Jordan Eberle
surged up the left wing, powered in on Mason, and sunk a backhander to make it 3-0 Edmonton. The goal gave Hall and Shawn Horcoff
two points on the game and Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel a reason to pull Mason in favour of Mathieu Garon.
The goaltending change inspired the Jackets. Just over one minute later, Matt Calvert spotted a loose puck and whacked it past Dubnyk to get his club back within two.
Despite taking two consecutive penalties after the goals, the Oilers held a 22-15 shot lead by the 13-minute mark of the second.
At that point, an incredible scoring chance for Hall prompted Dorsett to keep a close shoulder on the star rookie, and Hall took exception to the unwelcome attention. The rookie's first career fight was short and spirited but ended in awkward tumble to the ice, a fall that sent the young Oiler limping off to the dressing room. It was later announced that Hall had suffered a left ankle injury and would not return to the game. Linus Omark
served his roughing minor and fighting major.
There was no further scrapping or scoring in the period, but a late Blue Jackets penalty ensured the Oilers would start the final frame with a two-goal, five-shot, one-man advantage.
The remainder of that infraction plus two more kept specialty teams busy early in the third.
Edmonton continued to dominate as the period progressed, but with 4:22 remaining in regulation, Columbus caught a break. With help from Umberger and Kris Russell, Scottie Upshall fooled Dubnyk with a quick release, getting his club back within striking distance.
The Jackets pulled Garon in the final minute, but a holding minor to Antoine Vermette quickly negated the advantage. The visitors pulled Garon again and Eberle seemed destined to score a empty netter. Officials, however, spotted some rule breaking and tagged the rookie with a tripping minor.
Despite the penalties, the Oilers eventually got their goal as Andrew Cogliano
stole the puck in the neutral zone and forcefully fed it into the empty net. The goal sealed an action-packed 4-2 win for Edmonton.
|Three star selections