Anton Lander and Ben Eager scored in a 1:49 span to put the Oilers ahead 2-0 in the opening period, but Columbus stormed back, rattling off four straight goals (Ryan Johansen, Derick Brassard, Derek Mackenzie and Derek Dorsett) to top the Oilers' valiant start, downing the visitors 4-2 Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena.
During the warm-up, Taylor Hall was cut above his eye by Corey Potter's skate and had to leave the ice to be attended by the team's medical staff. He did not come out with the team to start the game, but a return is possible.
The Oilers opened up a 3-0 lead on the shot clock as the game began to open up. Columbus' Derick Brassard broke in on a 2-on-1 with Rick Nash, but his redirected attempt sailed wide. The Oilers countered the other way, speeding up the ice with conviction and cashing on the squad's fourth shot.
Josh Green dished to Anton Lander who, with a slick move, danced around Jackets netminder Curtis Sanford and deposited his second of the season to put the Oilers up 1-0.
1:49 later, it became a 2-0 game. With a clever, behind-the-back pass into the slot, Jeff Petry located a streaking Ben Eager at the doorstep. No. 55 wasted no time, connecting with the pass and beating the stunned goalie to extend the Oilers' advantage to a pair at 8:50.
As the period's 10-minute mark passed, the Oilers were also in possession of a 5-1 lead in shots.
With the Blue Jackets reeling from the Oilers' unrelenting attack, the home side nearly succumbed to a 3-0 score 12 minutes in. Petry released a snappy wrist shot at the point, beating the 'tender through the wickets; but, with inches to spare, the puck sat in the crease without a body in sight to retrieve it. Ryan Smyth pounce on the opportunity, but Jackets rookie David Savard swooped in to save the day.
With 20.5 seconds remaining in the period, Derek Dorsett picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct minor when we engaged (a willing) Theo Peckham in the neutral zone. Neither side dropped the mitts, sending the Oilers' 21.8-percent power-play to work in the second period.
Through 20 minutes, the Oilers were up 9-6 in shots.
Without registering a shot, the Jackets killed the penalty with ease. It was at this time, too, that the team announced that Hall would not return to the game.
2:36 into the period and clearly rising with the momentum of the kill, the Blue Jackets cut the Oilers' lead in half. Ryan Johansen ripped down the wing, danced around Ladislav Smid and pulled a shot wide, using the rearguard's stick as a redirection point and beating Devan Dubnyk low glove-side to bring the home side back in it.
With 11:24 on the clock, Johansen was assessed a minor when he put his stick between Petry's legs on an icing call; not unlike the play that ended Taylor Fedun's season back on Sep. 29 in Minnesota. The Oilers were unable to convert on the ensuing power-play, however.
At 19:01, Theo Peckham was charged with roughing when he slammed down a Jackets attacker at a stoppage in play. It appeared as though most would be carried into the third, but the Jackets made good with only 0.8 seconds on the clock. Dubnyk stopped the initial point shot, but Brassard hopped on the rebound; his back-pass, into-the-slot attempt redirected off Petry's skate and into the gaping cage.
An unlucky bounce, but they all count. Through 40 minutes, the teams were locked in a 2-2 score while Edmonton held a slim 15-14 edge in shots.
Just 32 seconds into the period, the home side continued to ride its wave of seemingly unstoppable momentum. On the team's 15th shot to equal the Oilers' output, Columbus took the lead. Corey Potter was beat along the side boards, allowing the Blue Jackets to break in with numbers; Josh Green's man (Derek Mackenzie) escaped to the middle and tapped home a Colton Gillies pass to make it a 3-2 game.
9:00 into the period, Columbus' Tomas Kubalik ran Smid hard into the end boards, square in the numbers. A boarding minor was charged, a quick melee ensued, and the Oilers were sent to their third power-play opportunity. The orange and blue added another shot to their tally (now totalling 19), but were unable to score.
With a minute on the clock, Dubnyk was pulled for an extra-attacker. The Oilers' last-ditch try came up short as a too many men penalty was assessed, allowing Columbus' Dorsett to break down and tap the puck into the waning net, securing a 4-2 Blue Jackets triumph.
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