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COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (22-19-4) at
EDMONTON OILERS (23-19-3)
Start Time: 7:08 p.m. MST
Television: Rogers Sportsnet West (HD)
Radio: 630 CHED, Oilers Radio Network and online at edmontonoilers.com.LINEUP UPDATE: Robert Nilsson returns to the lineup tonight for the Oilers. He draws in on the second line alongside Sam Gagner and Erik Cole. Liam Reddox is likely to be a healthy scratch... Dwayne Roloson starts in goal. Today's Game Notes | Edmonton/Columbus Head-to-Head | Stats Comparison Fernando Pisani fires the puck on Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire by Marc Ciampa | edmontonoilers.com
Just before the All-Star break, the Edmonton Oilers have an opportunity to potentially move into fifth place in the Western Conference with a win tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Oilers are coming off back-to-back wins, including a stellar effort on Glenn Anderson's jersey retirement night Sunday, defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 6-3.
The win moved the Oilers into a tie for eighth spot in the West with the Minnesota Wild at 49 points but sitting with 51 points are the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers have two games in hand on both those teams.
Sitting just below the Oilers is the Columbus Blue Jackets, in 10th spot with 48 points. Like Edmonton, Columbus has won four of its last five games. Columbus is also 8-3-0 in their last 11 games after a tough stretch in December that saw them go 3-6-1.
In their last game, the Jackets pulled out a 6-5 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks as they make a tour through Western Canada.
This is the third of four meetings this season between Edmonton and Columbus. The first two games were in Columbus, with the Oilers falling 5-4 on November 5 and then winning 7-2 on November 18.
Just The Facts...
Bob Stauffer and Louie DeBrusk preview tonight's game Pre-game comments from Robert Nilsson, Sheldon Souray, Erik Cole, Gilbert Brule & Craig MacTavish Pre-Game Audio... Gilbert Brule Sheldon Souray Robert Nilsson Craig MacTavish Monday's Video:
Oilers assign Ryan Potulny to Springfield - General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have assigned centre Ryan Potulny to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League. ...more
The Other Side - news from bluejackets.com
Weekly Report: January 19 - Since Dec. 4-7, the Blue Jackets have gone 11-6-1 overall and 8-3-0 in their last 11 outings. Columbus enters the week with a 22-19-4 record and 48 points, which puts them in ninth place in the Western Conference. Read ...more Nash Returns in Style, Lifts Jackets - After being sidelined for four games, Rick Nash returned to the ice and notched a goal and two assists, as well as the shootout clincher to give the Blue Jackets a 6-5 win over the Canucks Sunday night in Vancouver. Photo Gallery | ...more
From the Fans
Click here to read today's gameday thread on the Oilers message board.
Odds and Ends
The LINK: What the players are doing for the All-Star break - In today's episode of The Link, we talk to a number of Oilers players about their plans for the upcoming all-star break. We also revisit Glenn Anderson one final time ...more 5 Questions with Robert Nilsson - If you read Tom Gilbert's Blog, you'll know the Oilers -- including Tom's pal Robert Nilsson -- can often be found at the movie theatre when they're not at the rink. Click to check out Robert's all-time favourites in five cinematic categories. ...more A night to celebrate #9 - In an inspiring, emotional, and historic pre-game ceremony, the Oilers honoured six-time Stanley Cup champion and franchise hero Glenn Anderson by retiring his #9. ...more
From the Wire (AP)
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't slow down without Rick Nash in the lineup and it appears that the Columbus captain didn't miss a step while he was out either.
Nash and the Blue Jackets visit the Oilers on Tuesday, looking to snap a three-game losing streak in Edmonton.
Columbus (22-19-4) - trying to reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history - has built its recent run on the some strong goaltending, mostly from Steve Mason. But when Mason struggled on Sunday, Nash stepped up and led the Blue Jackets to a 6-5 shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Nash, Columbus' leading scorer with 18 goals and 24 assists, had missed the previous four games with a knee injury. Despite their captain's absence, the Blue Jackets went 3-1-0 during that stretch, in large part because of Mason, who had a 1.76 goals-against average over those four games.
Mason put the Blue Jackets in an early hole on Sunday, though, and they trailed 3-1 midway through the second period. Nash and Jason Williams pulled Columbus even, then scored in the shootout after it squandered a two-goal lead.
Nash also had two assists for his 13th multipoint game of the season. The Blue Jackets are 9-2-2 in those games.
"There's a reason he's the captain," said Williams. "He's not the most vocal guy, but he leads by example and his work ethic and he did both tonight."
The win was Columbus' eighth in the last 11 games and came despite one of Mason's worst games of the season. The five goals he allowed tied a season high for the rookie, and the .833 save percentage was his second-lowest in 28 games.
Mason came into the game with the NHL's best goals-against average (1.81) and second-best save percentage (.936).
Columbus continues this three-game road trip in Edmonton (23-19-3), where it has just three wins in 14 all-time games (3-9-2). The Blue Jackets close their Canadian trip on Wednesday against the Calgary Flames.
Columbus is 0-2-1 in its last three road games against the Oilers, who have won four of their last five. Edmonton is coming off a 6-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Sunday.
Ethan Moreau recorded his first career hat trick and Ales Hemsky returned after missing 10 games because of a concussion and added two goals. Hemsky is the Oilers leading scorer with 37 points (12 goals and 25 assists) but had not scored a goal since Dec. 13.
"I'm very happy to come back like this," he said. "I took a couple hits in the game and my head reacted well, so I'm pretty happy about that. I knew it would be tough coming back from this, but I got a goal pretty early on and that really gave me confidence."
The win started a challenging six-game homestand for the Oilers, who also will host Buffalo, Minnesota, Nashville and Chicago.
The Oilers and Blue Jackets split two meetings in Columbus during November. Nash has one goal and two assists against Edmonton this season and five goals in his last five games against them.