|CBJ||2||0||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|EDM||3||3||0||(0 - 0)||6|
It went back and forth through the first 20 minutes, but thanks to an impressive total team effort -- including an 11-point contribution by five rookies and strong showing from Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes -- the Oilers soared to a 6-3 win over the Blue Jackets in the remaining 40.
Under the Scope
Linus Omark was the game's first star with a goal and two assists, sharing space with fellow rookie Taylor Hall in the three-point club. Joining Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Whitney, and Sam Gagner in the two-point category, Jordan Eberle's two goals propelled him to a three-way tie for first in NHL rookie scoring.
Columbus outshot Edmonton 5-0 in the game's first three minutes, but then Omark hit the scene. While battling through defencemen, the Swedish rookie got the puck on Steve Mason, caught the rebound with his left skate, kicked it up to his stick, and fired back into the net. The beauty goal was the first of his NHL career and gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead.
1:34 later, however, the Blue Jackets countered. With help from RJ Umberger and Rostislav Klesla, Kristian Huselius backhanded the puck past Khabibulin to tie the game at two.
Near the six-minute mark, tempers flared between Zack Stortini and Tom Sestito, resulting in dropped gloves. Stortini slipped early in the brawl but was pulled back up and continued the fight, much to the dismay of the persistent linesmen. Both players earned fighting majors for the altercation.
The Jackets maintained a considerable shot lead as the period progressed, but the Oilers were the next to make one count. After fellow rookie Hall carried the puck up the left wing, Eberle snagged it and powered a backhand just inside Mason's left post, renewing Edmonton's lead.
Consecutive penalties to Andrew Cogliano and Jason Strudwick helped the visitors attain 20 shots and two goals. Midway through Strudwick's tripping minor, Umberger fed a crisp pass to Huselius, who fired home another backhander for his second goal of the game.
Trailing 23 shots to 10, the Oilers benefited from a power-play of their own with 1:40 remaining on the clock. The team applied steady pressure and it paid off in another lead. After being shoved to the ice behind Mason's net, Paajarvi got the puck to Omark in the corner, who slipped a brilliant blind centering pass to Dustin Penner. Penner capped the play with quick wrist-shot, giving the Oilers a 3-2 lead heading into the second period.
The Oilers picked up the pace in the second period, firing five shots on Mason in less than four minutes. The club's fifth shot originated with Ryan Whitney at the point but was tipped into the net by Eberle, giving him two goals and the Oilers a two-goal lead.
Despite continuing to trail in attempts, Edmonton surged further ahead later in the period. With help from Omark and Ryan O'Marra, Paajarvi wristed in the goal that made it 5-2. The play gave Omark three points on the night and put Paajarvi in the two-point club with Hall, Eberle, and Whitney.
A shoving match between Theo Peckham and Jakub Voracek briefly paused the offensive assault, but the Oilers got back to business during four-on-four. 49 seconds after Paajarvi's goal, Hall stole the puck and dished it to Gagner for a quick wrister that slipped under Mason. The goal was Edmonton's sixth on 27 shots and would seal a productive 15-shot period.
Mason was relieved of his duties after 40 minutes and the Jackets put former Oiler Mathieu Garon between the pipes to start the third. Columbus cracked 30 shots after the goaltending change, while Edmonton stayed close behind at 28.
The Jackets continued to test Khabibulin, eventually securing a third goal and hat-trick for Huselius. The accomplishment was overshadowed by the Oilers commanding lead, however, and Edmonton held on for a 6-3 victory Thursday night.
|Linus Omark (1) ASST: Ryan Whitney (23)|
1 - 0 EDM
|Kristian Huselius (4) ASST: Rostislav Klesla (7), R.J. Umberger (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Jordan Eberle (8) ASST: Taylor Hall (7), Sam Gagner (12)|
2 - 1 EDM
|PPG - Kristian Huselius (5) ASST: R.J. Umberger (14), Rick Nash (9)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Dustin Penner (10) ASST: Linus Omark (2), Magnus Paajarvi (10)|
3 - 2 EDM
|Jordan Eberle (9) ASST: Ryan Whitney (24), Taylor Hall (8)|
4 - 2 EDM
|Magnus Paajarvi (4) ASST: Ryan O'Marra (2), Linus Omark (3)|
5 - 2 EDM
|Sam Gagner (9) ASST: Taylor Hall (9)|
6 - 2 EDM
|Kristian Huselius (6) ASST: Antoine Vermette (9)|
6 - 3 EDM
|Zack Stortini Fighting (maj) against Tom Sestito|
|Tom Sestito Fighting (maj) against Zack Stortini|
|Andrew Cogliano Holding against Rick Nash|
|Jason Strudwick Tripping against Jakub Voracek|
|Derick Brassard Holding against Dustin Penner|
|Mike Commodore Interference against Taylor Hall|
|Jakub Voracek Roughing against Theo Peckham|
|Theo Peckham Roughing against Jakub Voracek|
|Ryan O'Marra Boarding against Chris Clark|
|Rostislav Klesla Tripping against Ryan Jones|
|Kristian Huselius Tripping against Jordan Eberle|