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Jackets Host Oilers in Search of Second Straight Win

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Edmonton made history last year, becoming the first No. 8 seed to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals in National Hockey League history.

Tonight both Columbus and Edmonton will make history as it will be the first time in NHL history that two Norwegian-born players appear on the same ice together.

Columbus’ Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and Edmonton’s Patrick Thoresen will battle each other as all of Norway watches on as the Jackets host the Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena on Friday night.

Coverage on FSN Ohio will begin with Ice Breaker at 6:30 p.m. In addition, the broadcast will also be on A-F-N, the American Forces Network, broadcasting to the U.S. armed forces serving in 176 countries and aboard ships at sea.

The Oilers last season went on a stunning run to sneak into the playoffs and continued the serge becoming the first No. 8 seed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in NHL history. Columbus hopes to emulate those results in 06-07.

The Jackets (5-7-1) have gone 3-3-0 over their last six after a four-game losing streak put an end to a 2-0-1 start. Columbus won last night on the strength of Rostislav Klesla’s career-high two-goal night, Dan Fritsche’s career-high three-point night and Rick Nash lighting the lamp, putting an end to his nine-game drought.

Though Klesla stole the headlines on Thursday, tonight his teammate on the blue-line, Tollefsen the rookie from Oslo, Norway, is in the spotlight. Tollefsen, just the fifth NHLer to ever come from Norway, will square off against his childhood friend, Thoresen, also an Olso, Norway native.

The event is national news in the Artic country and the press has been eating it up sending numerous reporters to cover tonight’s game.

Thoresen has had a good start to his career, scoring 2-5-7 in 14 games. He will need to continue to score to lift the Oilers out of their November funk. The defending Western Conference champs have lost four straight games since Oct. 28, a 4-0 win over Washington.

The Oilers are lead by Petr Sykora, who has scored 9-9-18 and Dwayne Roloson, who would have been the favorite for the Conn Smythe had he not been injured in the first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The goaltender has posted a 6-6-1 mark with a 2.57 GAA and a .915 SV% in his first few games since off-season knee surgery.

The Oilers and Jackets met four times in 2005-06 with Columbus prevailing twice, a 4-3 overtime win at Nationwide Arena on Mar. 11 and a 2-1 shootout win at Edmonton on Feb. 2. Former Oiler Jason Chimera tallied the game-winner in the shootout that evening. The two wins last season, snapped a streak of 12 games from Nov. 9, 2001 to Nov. 11, 2005, in which the Jackets were winless vs. the Oil (0-8-4). The club is 4-12-4 all-time vs. Edmonton, including 2-5-3 at home.

As always, Huntington Green Seats will be available for tonight's game and every game during the 2006-07 season. The Huntington Green Seats are 250 seats that are priced at $10 for every home game this season and are available only at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, two hours prior to game time. For tonight's game each person may purchase a maximum of four seats.

Click here to purchase tickets now.

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