COLUMBUS, OH - The Edmonton Oilers were defeated 4-3 by the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night. Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu scored for Columbus in the shootout while Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky both could not convert.
"I thought we played a much better game than we played in Minnesota there's no question about the reaction being there," said Oilers head coach Ralph Krueger. "There was a lot of good things. The result is disappointing when you look at the storyline. Getting a 3-2 lead, having a 1-0 lead."
"We knew they were going to work hard," Krueger continued. "They're a hard working team. They battled hard and we had our chances in the overtime."
Edmonton had a great chance to end the game after Nick Foligno took a penalty 25 seconds into the extra frame for closing his hand on the puck. The penalty set up a four-on-three man advantage which resulted in a handful of outstanding scoring chances.
Most notably, Sergei Bobrovsky, who replaced Blue Jackets starter Chris Mason in goal early in the second period, slid across and made a brilliant pad save on Jordan Eberle who had the puck in the left circle and fired a wrist shot on what looked to be an open net.
"Usually Ebs would be able to bury those," said Krueger. "He had a little pain, that might have held him back from putting it in the roof. Bobrovsky has to probably be the difference-maker here for the point that we lost."
Eberle pointed out that the puck was rolling.
"I just tried to calm the puck down. It was rolling a bit. He made a good save. I got it up maybe not as far as I wanted to but he made a great save," he said.
The Oilers winger also said that the team had trouble getting into the flow of the game.
"It seemed like every time we'd get something going we'd take a penalty. I don't think we had a power play until the third period."
The Oilers wasted no time getting on the board at the start of the game. Jeff Petry wristed a shot from the right point that eluded Blue Jackets starting goaltender Steve Mason, who was screened in front by Ryan Jones. The wrist shot went high blocker side to make it 1-0 Oilers only 4:23 in.
Columbus came right back and scored to put the Jackets back on even terms. Jared Boll threaded a pass to Derek MacKenzie at the top of the crease and he redirected it past Dubnyk for the goal three minutes later.
With eight minutes left in the opening frame, Ryan Whitney was sent off for tripping, giving Columbus the game's first power play for either side. The Blue Jackets moved the puck around well and with 12 seconds left in the penalty finally scored.
The initial shot from Ryan Johansen rang off the post behind Dubnyk and when the Oilers netminder tried to smother the puck, Vinny Prospal was right there to corral the rebound and put it behind the sprawled-out goaltender.
Jeff Petry and Matt Calvert dropped the gloves for an abbreviated bout. Calvert managed to wrestle Petry to the ice but neither side could really claim the edge in that fight. Calvert received a game misconduct for not having a tie down. His jersey came off in the fight.
Columbus went right back onto the power play with 4:03 to go in the opening frame. Nail Yakupov received two minutes for holding Johansen.
After killing off the penalty, Whitney wristed a shot from the right circle that beat Mason through the five-hole to put the Oilers back on even terms with 1:17 remaining in the opening period.
Shots on goal after one period were 14 to 7 in favour of Columbus.
The Oilers got off to a fast start in the middle frame. Sam Gagner slips the puck past a Blue Jackets defender and it finds its way onto the stick of Magnus Paajarvi who makes no mistake, wristing it past Mason to put Edmonton back in the lead. Sergei Bobrovsky replaced Mason in goal for Columbus after the goal. Mason had allowed three goals on five shots in slightly more than one period of work.
With 9:16 to play in the middle frame, Columbus tied the game up. Derick Brassard had the puck behind the net and fed it in front to Jack Johnson who one-timed it past Dubnyk and made it a 3-3 game.
Shots on goal after two periods were 24 to 14 for the Blue Jackets.
Just over three minutes into the third period, Dalton Prout took a high-sticking penalty to put the Oilers on the power play for the first time on the night but they were unable to solve Bobrovsky.
Shots on goal at the end of regulation time were 37 to 26 for Columbus.