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Aftermath No. 26: Edmonton

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Hopefully, the Blue Jackets don't play many games where they're looking to make amends after a 7-0 loss, but they played like a team on a mission in tonight's win over the Edmonton Oilers.

It has been well-documented what happened at Rexall Place just 10 days ago, and it was fresh on the minds of many Blue Jackets in the hours leading up to the rematch. First and foremost, however, was their desire to dictate the tempo against an Oilers club coming off an emotional win in Nashville the night before, and playing the same goaltender (Ilya Bryzgalov) for the second straight game.

The Blue Jackets were more physical early on, they were more opportunistic...and until the third period, they were the more disciplined team in the game and it proved to be the difference. Ryan Johansen - now tied for the team lead in points with James Wisniewski - got things started early in the first period with a nice snap shot under the crossbar and his teammates tallied twice on the power play in the second period to widen the margin.

Aside from some errant play in the third period, the Blue Jackets had their foot on the gas pedal and got rewarded for it. The Oilers seemed to be a step behind for most of the night and could never catch up, despite their best efforts to crawl back into the game via special teams in the third period. 

Here are some random thoughts, notes and observations...

- This is a banged-up group (especially up front), but when the Blue Jackets put a collective effort together from the start of games, they're a tough team to play against and they really frustrate opponents. The Oilers made some careless plays with the puck and it seemed like many of them turned into chances for the Blue Jackets, but it was that kind of night for the visitors...nothing went right for Edmonton early and it really came unraveled in a penalty-filled second period.

- The Blue Jackets are now 33-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period under head coach Todd Richards.

- Not a bad debut for Corey Tropp, but Richards said post-game that the flow of the game prevented him from getting more ice time. "Whenever I called out (the Skille-Chaput-Tropp) line to go next, it seemed like there was a penalty," Richards said. Tropp made a nice play to spring Skille for his second-period goal, and logged 6:35 in his Blue Jackets debut.

- Matt Calvert had an eventful game and it started right from his first shift. He finished a couple of checks in the Edmonton zone, taking the Oilers defense by surpise and his play to Johansen on the opening goal was vintage Calvert. Quick play, quick read, back of the net. He's picked up four points (goal, three assists) since returning from injury on Nov. 22 in Vancouver.

- Boone Jenner's assist on the Foligno goal was his first career helper. 

- Columbus was 2-for-5 on the power play versus Edmonton. The Jackets have now scored at least two PPG on five occasions this season and are 4-1-0 in those games.

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